South Africa-based MTN Group has said that in its opinion there is ‘no legal merit’ to the latest lawsuit being filed against it by the Turkish network operator Turkcell, although it declined to provide further comment pending a full examination of the latter’s legal challenge. As reported by HumanIPO earlier this week, Turkcell has once again poked the embers of the pair’s ongoing feud, which has seemingly been resolved in May this year when the Turks dropped the case they were pursuing in the US courts. Turkcell is thought to be seeking damages relating to the award of a mobile licence to MTN in Iran in March 2012. The company had previously been awarded the mobile concession in Iran but was then replaced by the South African firm, which went on to launch as Irancell. It is again 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.
MTN Group, has released a statement saying: ‘The MTN Group has noted reports that Turkish mobile phone operator Turkcell Iletisim AS (Turkcell) has re-filed its lawsuit against MTN in the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg. At this stage, MTN cannot comment further as we have not received or viewed the court papers … Although we don’t have details of the case, MTN continues to believe that there is no legal merit to Turkcell’s claim and will accordingly oppose it.’