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STOCKHOLM, Sept 22 (Reuters) - The former chief executive of Swedish telecoms operator Telia Company will face charges of aggravated bribery over a deal to buy a 3G telecoms licence in Uzbekistan, prosecutors said.
Charges against former CEO Lars Nyberg and two other former high-ranking Telia officials were filed with the Stockholm court on Friday, Prosecutor Gunnar Stetler said.
The move comes a day after the company agreed to pay $966 million to settle U.S. and European criminal and civil charges related to the case.
Nyberg rejects the prosecutor's findings, his lawyer Stephane Pleijel said in a statement, adding he expects a court trial soon.
"It is my view that this drawn-out case will end with an acquittal for Nyberg since there are no grounds for the charge," he said.
Prosecutor Bernt Berger told Reuters that if found guilty the defendants could face up to six years in prison.
In Thursday's settlement Telia's Uzbek unit pleaded guilty to a bribery charge, resolving probes by the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and Dutch prosecutors.
Telia, then called TeliaSonera, expanded in Eurasia, a region where mobile penetration was still low, by taking over Turkcell's mobile subsidiaries.
It has since decided to abandon Central Asia to focus on its Nordic and Baltic operations and expects to exit Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Georgia, Moldova and Uzbekistan this year.
"Telia Company has a good and constructive co-operation with the Swedish Prosecution Authority and the Swedish Police in the investigations of suspected corruption and we are very confident in the prosecutors and their work," the company said in a statement on Friday.
Nyberg left Telia in 2013. Four other senior employees, including the chief financial officer, left the same year. (Reporting by Helena Soderpalm and Olof Swahnberg; editing by Niklas Pollard and Jason Neely)