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STOCKHOLM, Oct 10 (Reuters) - Nordic telecoms group TeilaSonera said it had full confidence in Chief Executive Lars Nyberg and denied bringing forward a search for his replacement due to controversy over a deal in Uzbekistan.
Newspaper Dagens Nyheter reported that Nyberg may resign before his term ends at the end of next year after allegations of wrongdoing by TeliaSonera in a purchase of a 3G licence in Uzbekistan in 2007.
"TeliaSonera's board of directors has full confidence in Chief Executive Lars Nyberg," Chairman Anders Narvinger said in an emailed statement on Wednesday.
"His current contract ends in December next year. Finding a replacement for a chief executive at one of Sweden's largest companies is a long process which the board initiated before the current debate started," he said.
Dagens Nyheter had reported that hiring a recruitment firm as much as 15 months in advance of Nyberg's scheduled departure showed the chief executive would depart early.
Nyberg has come under pressure after a report that TeliaSonera paid funds to an offshore company for a 3G permit in Uzbekistan and that the company had links to the daughter of President Islam Karimov.
A Swedish prosecutor has also opened a preliminary investigation into whether the deal involved money laundering or was an act of corruption.
TeliaSonera has denied wrongdoing but has appointed a law firm to look at the deal.
Nyberg has said he would step down if it was proved a crime was committed.
(Reporting by Olof Swahnberg; Editing by David Holmes)
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Keywords: TELIASONERA NYBERG/