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Business

Former Telekom Bosses Implicated in Spy Scandal

The former CEO and former chairman of Deutsche Telekom have been accused of playing a role in the telecommunication company's recently uncovered telephone surveillance affair. Both have denied involvement.

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Deutsche Telekom has been rattled by a series of recent scandals

Former CEO Kai-Uwe Ricke and former chairman Klaus Zumwinkel, who stepped down in February due to a tax evasion scandal, were more deeply embroiled in the spy affair than originally suspected, former HR manager Heinz Klinkhammer told the German business daily Handelsblatt on Wednesday, May 28.

Deutsche Telekom has admitted that the phone calls of senior executives were monitored in 2005 and 2006 in order to find an internal leak to the press.

Ricke told Handelsblatt that the accusations of his involvement were "false and unfounded" and a spokesman for Zumwinkel said he "did not give any personal orders or instructions" concerning the surveillance process.

However, according to the business daily, Ralf Kuehn, who heads the external company hired to examine the phone records, said that "the contract came from the highest level and was approved by the Telekom management."

Klinkhammer, who was Telekom's personnel manager from 1996 to 2006, was also quoted as saying that a fellow employee who'd handled the contract told him that "Ricke and Zumwinkel asked him to keep quiet about the matter."

Public prosecutors in Bonn, where Deutsche Telekom is based, are set to decide this week whether the documents submitted by Telekom itself warrant an investigation.

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