Germany Probes Telecom Chief

German prosecutors said Wednesday they have begun their own investigation into the role of Deutsche Telekom AG employees—including the company’s chief executive, René Obermann—in the alleged bribery and coercion of government officials in Macedonia and Montenegro.

A spokesman for prosecutors in Bonn, where Deutsche Telekom is based, said the office opened the inquiry after reviewing documents provided by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Federal Bureau of Investigation and Justice Department earlier this year.

U.S. officials have been investigating the company’s activities in the Balkans since 2006 and had asked German prosecutors to assist by collecting witness testimony in Germany.

German prosecutors searched Mr. Obermann’s office and one of his two homes on Aug. 31, said Manfred Balz, Deutsche Telekom’s management board member responsible for compliance, at a news conference Wednesday. The search included computers and documents belonging to Mr. Obermann and to employees who haven’t been named as suspects.

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