The properties searched over a two-day period included the imposing castle owned by Zumwinkel in Italy, his former home in Cologne and Ricke’s home in Switzerland, as well as the house of his wife in Bavaria.
Two computers were taken from the castle belonging to Zumwinkel, who was head of the supervisory board of Deutsche Telekom until last February.
Investigators still need to find out whether he knew of the mass spying undertaken by the company, or even ordered it.
Bonn’s state prosecutor has been looking at the spying scandal at Deutsche Telekom since last spring. Then the company partly confirmed media reports that the bank records of more than 100,000 workers had been checked to trawl for possible corruption operations. It said the incidences of checking telephone records was to try to track down the sources of leaks to the media.
Investigators say they have found evidence that the company took telephone records of supervisory board members as well as the workers’ council, journalists and other such as Frank Bsirske, head of the Verdi trade union.
At least 55 people are thought to have been spied upon in this manner.
Zumwinkel was given a two-year suspended sentence this January for tax evasion.