Guinea: Israeli Billionaire, Beny Steinmetzon On Trial for Mining ‘Corruption Pact’

Swiss prosecutors allege that the Israeli billionaire and business associates bribed a wife of the former Guinean president to obtain lucrative mining rights.

Lawyers, bankers and professional advisers in Europe and the United States enabled corruption in one of the world’s poorest countries, Swiss officials allege in a highly-anticipated criminal case that opens today.

Prosecutors in Geneva allege that Israeli billionaire Beny Steinmetz forged documents and masterminded a “corruption pact” over five years to pay millions of dollars in bribes to obtain lucrative mining rights in Guinea, West Africa. Steinmetz and his company, BSG Resources, bribed Mamadie Touré, a wife of Guinea’s then-president, Lansana Conte, to develop the Simandou iron ore mine, prosecutors said in an indictment provided to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.

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