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MTN asks US judge to throw out Turkcell case

3 Jul 2012

The South African telecoms group MTN has called on a US federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit brought against it by Turkcell of Turkey. MTN says the suit, which relates to the award of a mobile telephony licence in Iran, has ‘no conceivable’ connection to the United States, Bloomberg reports. Turkcell had previously been awarded the mobile concession in Iran but was then replaced by the South African firm. It is accusing MTN officials of using bribery to win backing in Iran and getting South African government officials to influence arms deals and to vote in favour of Iran’s nuclear programme at the United Nations (UN). Turkcell claims the US court has jurisdiction because the case has international ramifications. A lawyer for the Turkish firm told Bloomberg that ‘advancing the nuclear ambitions of a rogue regime for commercial gain raises grave issues of universal international concern’.

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