* Prosecutors freeze Takilant account with $30 mln
* Request court authorisation to freeze more assets
(Adds detail, background, TeliaSonera comment)
STOCKHOLM, Oct 1 (Reuters) - A prosecutor investigating
TeliaSonera's purchase of a telecom license in
Uzbekistan has frozen a Swedish account containing $30 million
held by the seller, Gibraltar-based Takilant Ltd.
"I have decided, for various reasons, to take that account
into custody, which is the equivalent of freezing it. That is
all I can comment," Prosecutor Gunnar Stetler told Reuters.
He confirmed that the company in question was Takilant.
Swedish prosecutors last month opened a preliminary
investigation into TeliaSonera's purchase after a Swedish
television programme alleged the company had bought the license
from a firm with close ties to the daughter of Uzbek President
TeliaSonera, partially owned by the Swedish state, has
denied it did anything wrong when it bought the 3G license to
operate in Uzbekistan from Takilant in 2007.
The company has said it will cooperate fully with the
prosecutors' probe and appoint independent investigators to look
into allegations of bribery and money laundering associated with
Reuters was unable to reach Takilant for comment.
Court documents obtained by Swedish daily Svenska Dagbladet
and published in full on its website showed prosecutors had also
requested authorisation to freeze Takilant assets worth at least
1.55 billion Swedish crowns ($236 million).
However, Stetler said the request, submitted to the court
earlier on Monday, was a formality since Takilant was not known
to possess any assets of that size in the Nordic country.
TeliaSonera Chief Executive Lars Nyberg has staked his job
on seeing that the company, in which Sweden owns a 37 percent
stake, is exonerated from wrongdoing in the 2.3 billion crown
($352 million) deal with Takilant.
The court documents also cited an investigation by Swedish
bank Handelsbanken which prosecutors said had failed to uncover
any evidence that Takilant had ever owned a telecom license in
the Central Asian country.
A TeliaSonera spokeswoman said the company remained
confident that Takilant had owned the license bought by the
"We confirmed that they were the rightful owners,"
spokeswoman Irene Krohn said.
($1 = 6.5676 Swedish crowns)
(Reporting by Niklas Pollard; Additional reporting by Mia
Shanley; Editing by Hans-Juergen Peters and Dale Hudson)