MTN has stated that it “continues to defend itself” as the investigation into its entry to the Iranian market grows more intense.
The Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation has requested that the South African operator submit documents to shed light on certain aspects – including the original complaint - of an ongoing lawsuit filed by Turkcell against MTN.
Turkcell’s legal challenge relates to events that occurred in 2005, when MTN was awarded Iran’s second mobile licence, with Turkcell losing out. MTN holds 49% of Irancell, with the Iranian government owning the majority share.
After receiving the complaint, MTN formed a committee - chaired by “eminent international jurist” Leonard Hoffman - which found that there had been “no conspiracy between MTN and Iranian officials to remove Turkcell from the licence process in Iran, that there were no promises made to procure the South African government to supply defence equipment to Iran or to support Iran’s nuclear policy, nor that MTN had advanced sham loans to its Iranian partners, nor indeed that any promises of payment to Iranian or South African officials were made or authorised.”
MTN has been asked to provide documents relating to this self-reporting of the case. The operator group has stated that it “remains of the view that Turkcell’s claim is opportunistic, an abuse of the process of court, baseless and without merit”.