MTN said it “continues to defend itself” in a long running legal spat with Turkcell related to the former’s entry into Iran, following a visit from the authorities earlier this month.
The South-Africa based group and its lawyers were visited by representatives of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation on 1 June, seeking documents relating to aspects of a Turkcell lawsuit connected with MTN’s original self-reporting of the matter and the Turkcell complaint.
In a statement, MTN said it “remains of the view that Turkcell’s claim is opportunistic, an abuse of the process of court, baseless and without merit”.
MTN and Turkcell have been embroiled in a legal spat regarding Iran for some time, following a licence process which saw the former entering the country as a shareholder (49 per cent) in MTN Irancell, while the latter missed out.
Following the initial complaint, MTN created a committee under the chairmanship of “eminent international jurist, Lord Leonard Hoffmann” to investigate.
Hoffmann’s probe found Turkcell’s claims rested on the evidence of one man and the peer concluded there was “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” by the management.
MTN said the case in South Africa marks the fifth time Turkcell has attempted to pursue legal proceedings in respect of substantially the same issues”.