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MTN wants lawsuit dismissed

MTN filed a motion on Tuesday to have Turkcell's case dismissed.

MTN offices in Johannesburg. Picture: defenceweb.co.za

JOHANNESBURG - MTN confirmed on Tuesday it had taken steps to have Turkcell's lawsuit thrown out of the court.

The Turkish mobile operator filed a billion dollar lawsuit against MTN in a United States court disputing the awarding of a cellular licence in Iran in 2004.

MTN said it had filed a motion to have Turkcell's case dismissed, saying the claim had no legal merit.

It is alleged that MTN bribed officials, arranged meetings for Iran with South African leaders, promised Iran weapons and United Nations votes in exchange for a mobile operating licence in the country.

Turkcell filed a lawsuit in March for compensation in a US federal court but MTN said the US court does not have jurisdiction to rule on the matter.

MTN wants the case thrown out.

The Turkish company must now respond to MTN's motion to dismiss by the 1 August.

South Africa's elite Hawks police unit in June began an investigation into allegations of corruption at MTN.

The accusations relate to its purchase of a cellular licence in Iran.

The court papers state that MTN executives were also accused of promising to get South African government to vote favourably about Tehran's nuclear programme at international forums.