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Turkcell takes legal action against MTN over Iran

Turkcell has accused South African operator MTN of costing it business in Iran via “corruption and bribery”.

The Turkish operator has filed a $4.2 billion lawsuit in South Africa, claiming that MTN’s former CEO and chairman Phuthuma Nhleko and former executive Irene Charnley “acted wrongfully” and adversely affected Turkcell’s standing with Iran’s government.

According to papers filed with Johannesburg’s South Gauteng High Court, MTN stands accused of “promises of bribes and the bestowing of gifts and favours to Iranian and South African Government officials”.

Turkcell has also claimed that MTN suggested that it would be able to influence the outcome of the South African government’s vote by in the International Atomic Energy Agency over Iran’s nuclear program.

MTN has stated: “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.”

This is not the first time that Turkcell has accused MTN of foul play. The Turkish operator filed a suit in April 2012 claiming that MTN had obtained an Iranian mobile licence that was originally won by Turkcell through bribery and underhand tactics. MTN rejected the assertion.


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