The Oslo District Court said in a ruling on Friday that there was no substantial evidence to support the involvement of now suspended Chief Executive Officer of the Fredriksen Group, Jo Lunder, in Vimpelcom corruption case, Reuters reports.
However, Lunder is reported to have remained in custody over the weekend, following a prosecutor’s appeal.
Lunder was apprehended by Norwegian police in Oslo on Wednesday for suspected involvement in an alleged bribery case in Uzbekistan while working as head of VimpelCom, a Russian mobile operator.
According to the allegations, Lunder is linked to a payment of USD 30 million in 2011 from Vimpelcom to an account in Switzerland, belonging to the Uzbek company Takilant. The payment is believed to be a bribe to officials in Uzbekistan to secure permits for wireless connections.
Lunder acted as former head of Russian mobile operator VimpelCom from 2011 till 2015, before he was appointed head of the Fredriksen Group in May this year, a role he assumed in September.
Following the latest developments, Lunder has stepped down from his position at Fredriksen Group until further notice.
Fredriksen Group controls investments in several large offshore energy and shipping companies such as Seadrill Ltd, Frontline Ltd, Golden Ocean Group Ltd, Archer Ltd and Marine Harvest ASA.
World Maritime News Staff