MTN Says its Acquitted in Iran Bribery Allegations
South Africa based MTN Group has issued an independent report into the allegations that it used bribery to secure an operating license in Iran - and concluded that the company did not do what it was alleged to have done.
The matter came to light after the former Iranian mobile license holder, Turkcell has the license voided, and then it was later given to a consortium including MTN.
Turkcell has launched legal action against MTN in the USA seeking compensation for its alleged losses.
Turkcell had alleged that MTN had conspired with Iranian officials to oust Turkcell from the successful consortium and take its place by promising to use its influence with the South African government to procure the supply of defence equipment to Iran and to support the Iranian nuclear development programme at meetings of the IAEA.
Turkcell also made specific claims about bribery payments that it said MTN made to officials to secure the mobile operating license.
In response, MTN appointed a UK judge, Lord Hoffmann to head a review into the allegations.
In summary, the investigation found that most of the claims to be unfounded. It did however raise concerns about a US$400,000 payment, but due to the unreliability of the witnesses was unable to find out what had happened to that money.
In reaching these findings, following a critical examination of the evidence, the Hoffmann Committee found that Turkcell's allegations are "a fabric of lies, distortions and inventions".
MTN said in a statement that it will continue to vigorously defend the US lawsuit and will continue to argue that the USA is not the correct legal jurisdiction for such lawsuits anyway.