Posted on Jan 22, 2021 7:56 PM
Historic trial, historic sentence. The mining magnate Beny Steinmetz was sentenced to 5 years in prison for bribing public officials in Guinea by the Geneva court. “ It emerges from what has been exposed … that the concessions were obtained by corruption and that Steinmetz collaborated with other people ”In order to obtain them, judged Alexandra Banna, president of the criminal court of Geneva. The magistrate underlined the “ eminently selfish motives From the businessman.
By sentencing the billionaire to 5 years in prison, the court followed the prosecution which had requested this sentence. Beny Steinmetz must also pay the canton of Geneva a compensatory claim of 50 million Swiss francs, or 46 million euros. Beny Steinmetz believes that this judgment is “ a great injustice “. His lawyer has also indicated that he was going to appeal.
A lucrative operation
The Franco-Israeli, who made his fortune in diamonds and real estate, was suspected of corruption to obtain mining rights to Simandou mountain, one of the largest iron deposits in the world as yet untapped. Shortly before the death of dictator Lansana Conté, he would have paid, via a complex company arrangement, around 8 million dollars to the fourth wife of the leader Mamadie Touré.
In 2008, he received the right to exploit blocks 1 and 2 of Simandou, a right which was withdrawn from Rio Tinto. He invested 170 million dollars there before reselling 51% of its shares to the Brazilian group Vale for… 2.5 billion dollars.
For the president of the tribunal, “ the money paid to Mamadie Touré does indeed come from BSGR “, The company of Beny Steinmetz, and” President Conté had no interest in withdrawing rights from Rio Tinto … except to withdraw a personal interest or favor a third party, in this case his fourth wife “.