Afghan Wireless founders file litigation

21 Apr 2009

A lawsuit has been filed in London’s High Court in a USD400 million shareholder dispute over the ownership of the Afghani wireless network operator Afghan Wireless Communications Company (AWCC). Law firm Steptoe & Johnson has confirmed that they have issued proceedings on behalf of four clients who are suing Telephone Systems International (TSI, currently 80% shareholder in AWCC), AWCC, Ehsanollah Bayat and Mark Warner. The litigation is being instigated by three British individuals, Lord Michael Cecil, Stuart Bentham and Alexander Grinling, together with a Swiss national Joakim Lehmkuhl which together set up the first cellco in Afghanistan in 1998/1999, in partnership with Ehsanollah Bayat. The claimants claim that Bayat has wrongfully denied them their share of the company, and have issued a claim of at least USD400 million, being the estimated value of their shareholding together with a proportionate share of businesses and assets acquired or set up by Bayat, such as the Ariana Television Network and the Bayat Foundation, using AWCC’s money, including money and/or assets claimed to belong to the litigants.

Afghanistan, Afghan Wireless Communications Company (AWCC)