US Court rules against hearing terrorism case against MTN Group

5 Aug 2021

ITWeb reports that a court in the United States has ruled that it does not hold the authority to try a terrorism case brought against South Africa-based MTN Group. In a statement, the regional carrier said: ‘MTN is pleased to report that on Friday evening, 30 July 2021, the magistrate judge to whom the case had been referred made a recommendation to the district judge presiding over the case to grant the motion to dismiss for all defendants in the case, including as submitted by MTN defendants.’ It went on to add that the judge had concluded ‘the court did not have jurisdiction over MTN defendants … Under the US court’s procedures, the plaintiffs are permitted to file objections to the report with the district judge, and MTN defendants will have an opportunity to respond.’

Johannesburg-headquartered MTN had been accused of breaching US anti-terrorism laws via alleged payments of protection money to groups in Afghanistan. It stringently denied the allegations and, in the wake of the court ruling, it announced to shareholders that it had ‘crossed the first hurdle of the lawsuit unscathed, after the court recommended the case be dismissed’.

South Africa, MTN Group