Legal Featured Article
October 17, 2012
Turkcell Forced to Wait on Ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court in its $4.2 Billion Suit
By Monica Gleberman, Contributing Writer
Looks like a decision in the Turkcell (News - Alert) v. MTN Group bribery suit will be delayed a few more months after the U.S. court has officially put a hold on its decision. Turkcell filed the $4.2 billion lawsuit against MTN (News - Alert) Group, claiming the mobile operator used bribes and other illegal means to obtain various licenses in Iran in 2004 and 2005.
The court said it is unwilling to continue processing this case until a decision is made in the case of Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum Company, regarding the Alien Tort Statue. The Kiobel case was filed by Nigerian plaintiffs and brings claims for extrajudicial killing, torture, and other acts against humanity. A decision is expected in 2013, after a December 2010 ruling rejected the proposition that corporations may be held liable for torts.
According to the United States code, the law was created to allow district courts to have a right to oversee civil cases by an alien for a tort only, committed in violation of the law of nations or a treaty. Turkcell is claiming it has enough evidence to fall under that statute.
“Citing MTN’s violations of international norms of law, Turkcell asserts that MTN’s promises of military arms and International Atomic Energy Agency votes plus its payment of multiple bribes are more than adequate to support the American court’s jurisdiction over the case under the Alien Tort Statue,” said Patton Boggs, LLP and writer for Sacbee. “Turkcell also provided the court with a detailed description of MTN’s extensive business dealings in the United States supporting personal jurisdiction.”
The outcome of the Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum Company may determine whether or not Turkcell can continue with its lawsuit against MTN. In the mean time, MTN continues to believe that there is no legal merit to this case and continues to oppose the suit.
Edited by Jamie Epstein
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