MTN Group has welcomed Turkcell’s decision to drop its $4.2 billion lawsuit against MTN before the US District Court of Columbia over the awarding of Iran’s second mobile licence to MTN in 2005.
MTN opposed Turkcell’s claim, which hinged on allegations of bribery, saying it lacked legal merit and that there was no basis for it to be brought before a US Court.
Yesterday, Turkcell withdrew the claim. This followed last month’s ruling by the US Supreme Court restricting the ability of foreign corporations to bring before US courts cases alleging corporate misconduct that took place outside the United States.
Says MTN Group President and CEO, Sifiso Dabengwa: “Turkcell’s decision to drop their claim was expected, however we welcome it.”
After becoming aware of Turkcell’s claims in February last year, the MTN Board commissioned Lord Hoffmann to lead a thorough investigation into these allegations. Then in February this year, the Committee led by Lord Hoffmann determined that Turkcell’s allegations were without foundation.
The Committee concluded that they found nothing in the conduct of MTN that put at question MTN’s integrity or propriety during the period that Iran’s second mobile licence was awarded.
Mr Dabengwa stressed that MTN has zero tolerance for corruption and unethical business, and constantly reviews its governance practices to ensure that its actions and those of its employees across its 22 markets are beyond question.
“Now that this case is behind us, we are forging ahead with great determination towards achieving MTN’s newly launched vision to deliver a bold new digital world to our customers. MTN is one of Africa’s success stories, a great company founded on innovation, courage and values of honesty.
“Our products and services have fundamentally transformed people’s lives across our markets, and we are proud of MTN’s role in accelerating the economic development of the countries that we are active in across Africa and the Middle East,” said Mr Dabengwa.