On Friday, January 22, a Swiss court sentenced Franco-Israeli magnate Benny Steinmets, 64, to five years in prison for bribing public officials in Guinea in a mining permit case.
“This comes from the revelation that the exemptions were obtained through corruption and that Steinmets collaborated with other people.” Alexandra Banna, president of the Geneva Criminal Court, said they would get them “Notable Selfish Goals” Of the businessman.
Court “Sentenced to five years in custody”They added at the request of the prosecution. He also ordered the state of Geneva to pay a compensation claim of 50 million Swiss francs (46 million euros).
This one “Great Injustice”Benny Steinmets told the media. Diamond lawyer Mark Bonant announced that he was going to file his client appeal “Contradictions and Errors” Of judgment. In the case of the NGO Public Eye, which condemns the injustices that originated in Switzerland, this case is a “In the context of Guinea, one of the poorest countries in the world, the real fallout from the mechanisms of international corruption”.
The trial, which took place from 11 to 18 January, is the culmination of a lengthy international investigation launched in Switzerland in 2013, and the Beni Steinmets Group Resources (BSGR) diamond trader is linked to mining permits in Guinea. Of the counselor.
Pots-de-Win between 2006 and 2012
In 2008, just before the death of former Guinean President Lansana Conte, the right to exploit Blocks 1 and 2, one of the most important iron deposits in the world, was invested in Symando for $ 170 million. Since then, it has sold $ 2.5 billion to Vale, a 51% Brazilian group.
According to the Geneva Public Prosecutor’s Office, Benny Steinmets would have offered in 2005 and then paid or paid bribes from 2006 to 2012, some of which would have gone through Swiss accounts, with former President Conte’s fourth wife, Mamadi Touri, taking revenge on this poor African country. The main person in this case, M.S.I He admitted to accepting tour payments and has since defended American justice. Called as a witness in Geneva, they did not appear at the trial like a dozen other witnesses.
The prosecution alleges he set up a financial package to pay $ 10 million (8. 8.2 million) in bribes through front companies.I Tour, therefore, supports BSGR Anglo-Australian group Rio Tinto. The tribunal president wrote about it “The money for the Mamadi tour is definitely coming from BSGR” And “President Conte was not interested in withdrawing rights from Rio Tinto … except for withdrawing personal interest or favoring a third party, in this case his fourth wife.”.
A Frenchman also condemned
Benny Steinmets, who lived in Geneva when the allegations came to light, gave assurances at the trial. “Never” Shri.I Toure, alleged to have told her “Lies”.
According to the respondent, she was not the wife of former President Conte, but a mistress with no influence. But for the president of the tribunal, the Mamadi tour was excellent “President Conte’s fourth wife, this is a regular wedding but no problem.”. During the trial, Steinmets tried to downplay his role “Advise” Within the BSGR on financial details.
His president specifically ressed that a vision rejected by a Geneva court had arisen from a 2007 meeting. “Steinmets knows all the projects of the group and is involved in them” In financial matters. After years of legal battles, Beni Steinmet and Alpha Conte’s new Guinean presidency reached an agreement in early 2019, relinquishing the rights of BSGR Simanto in exchange for abandoning allegations of corruption in Guinea.
Steinmets is facing trial along with two business partners, including Frenchman Frederick Cilins, for obstructing justice in the case. In 2014, he was sentenced to two years in prison in the United States. According to FBI documents cited by the Geneva prosecutor, he offered Mc several million dollarsI Tour instead of the destruction of some compromising documents. He faces up to three-and-a-half years in prison and five million Swiss francs on Thursday.
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