Deutsche Telekom chief faced with probe

City A.M. Reporter
Deutsche Telekom said its chief executive Rene Obermann is the only top company official among the eight people facing investigation in a suspected bribery case in its eastern Europe operations.

In a show of support however, the company started negotiations this month with Obermann to extend his contract, which expires in November 2011, according to a person with knowledge of the matter .

Deutsche Telekom declined to comment.

Telekom’s top lawyer, Manfred Balz, said that Obermann was not the target of a US investigation that triggered searches in Germany but was being questioned as a witness in the US probe, Balz told a conference call, adding no other members of top management or the supervisory board were involved.

German prosecutors are investigating eight people including Obermann at the request of US authorities who are looking into suspected bribery in Macedonia and Montenegro.

The WirtschaftsWoche magazine reported on Monday that prosecutors searched Obermann's home and confiscated documents last month as part of the investigation.