Turkcell renews MTN legal action

Image courtesy of stock.xchng

Image courtesy of stock.xchng

Turkish mobile operator Turkcell has filed papers in the High Court in Johannesburg in a bid to reopen a lawsuit against MTN that was previously heard in the United States, MTN said on Wednesday.

MTN had not received the court papers by early Wednesday afternoon, it said in a statement.

“Although we don’t have details of the case, MTN continues to believe that there is no legal merit to Turkcell’s claim and will accordingly oppose it.”

Turkcell said in a statement it was seeking damages from MTN over the awarding of a private Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) licence in Iran.

Turkcell claimed it was awarded Iran’s first GSM licence in 2004, but was unlawfully prevented from receiving the licence. The agreement was instead signed with MTN.

“Information received by Turkcell indicates that our company’s exclusion, and the signing of the licence agreement with MTN, was a consequence of MTN’s illegal acts, including bribery and corruption, in 2004 and 2005.”

In 2011, when Turkcell became aware of the alleged unlawful conduct, it filed a US4 billion (about R35.5bn at the time) lawsuit against MTN in a US court.

It accused MTN of bribing Iranians and South Africans to acquire the Iranian mobile licence.

“A change in the jurisdiction laws of the United States resulted in Turkcell’s withdrawal of its lawsuit without prejudice at that time, and the company maintains its position regarding the merit of the case.”





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