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Deutsche Telekom duo not facing nosey charges

Insufficient evidence of peeking at board members, journos

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The former chief exec and chairman of Deutsche Telekom will not face charges, after an investigation into spying on board members and journalists failed to find sufficient evidence against them.

The spying took place between 2005 and 2006, and in 2008 the German telco admitted phone records were monitored. But Klaus Zumwinkel, then chairman, and Kai-Uwe Ricke, chief executive at the time, denied any wrongdoing.

German prosecutors said yesterday they had dropped the investigation into the pair.

Charges will be filed against four other people in the case, including a former security manager at DT and the head of a private security company. The prosecutors had been looking into allegations that DT had hired the security operation to find the source of news leaks, by monitoring phone records of journalists and board members.

The case caused a lot of hand-wringing in Germany where snooping is a particularly sensitive subject, being uncomfortably reminiscent of the tactics of the Gestapo and communist East Germany's Stasi secret police. In 2008 Interior Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble was quoted as warning the scandal had shaken Germans' faith in senior figures. ®

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