A billionaire French-Israeli diamond magnate, Beny Steinmetz, has appeared in court in Switzerland to face trial over alleged corruption linked to a major mining deal in Guinea. He has always denied his company, BSGR, paid multi-million dollar bribes to obtain iron ore mining exploration permits in southern Guinea in Steinmetz, 64, was previously sentenced in absentia to five years in prison by a court in Romania for money laundering.
According to the prosecutors, the bribes to Guinean public officials were paid with the help of Mamadie Toure, the widow of Guinea's former president Lansana Conte. They also allege that Steinmetz forged documents linked to the deal. She has not yet commented on this trial. Mr Bonnant told Reuters news agency last month that Steinmetz had "never paid a cent to Mme Mamadie Toure" and said she was not married to Lansana Conte.
Despite its vast natural resources, Guinea remains one of the poorest countries in Africa, and has gained little from the Simandou iron ore riches. At the time it was referred to as a "jackpot" deal in the financial press. But it also raised questions about why the initial rights were granted so cheaply. Mo Ibrahim, the Sudanese telecom billionaire and anti-corruption campaigner, asked at the time: "Are the Guineans who did that deal idiots, or criminals, or both?
Steinmetz has always insisted he did nothing wrong. Pay based on use. Does my organisation subscribe? Group Subscription. Premium digital access plus: Convenient access for groups of users Integration with third party platforms and CRM systems Usage based pricing and volume discounts for multiple users Subscription management tools and usage reporting SAML-based single sign on SSO Dedicated account and customer success teams.
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