US probe fails to stop mobile licence awards

23 Dec 2003

Iraq’s Ministry of Communications has approved the award of three two-year mobile licences to Middle Eastern-based groups Orascom Iraq, Asia Cell and Atheer, despite a US-led investigation into the circumstances behind the contract awards. The probe followed allegations that members of the Iraqi Ministry and the Coalition Provisional Authority, the US occupying administration, had taken ‘bungs’ to complete the deal. However, Haider al-Abadi dismissed the allegations and said the signing of the licences proved there was no illicit dealing or corruption present in the awards.