Monday, January 18, 2021

Israeli tycoon, Beny Steinmetz ordered to trial over alleged Guinea bribes

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GENEVA — Swiss prosecutors said an Israeli billionaire has been ordered to stand trial on corruption and bribery charges allegedly involving a widow of Guinea’s former president.

Prosecutors in Geneva allege that diamond-mining magnate Beny Steinmetz and two other defendants paid $10 million in bribes to squeeze out a competitor for mining rights in Guinea’s southeastern Simandou region between 2005 and 2010.

Related: Israeli police recommend indicting Netanyahu in bribery case

The three are accused of issuing false contracts and invoices to hide bribes allegedly paid to a wife of Guinean President Lansana Conte, who died in 2008.

The prosecutor’s office said Monday that the charges include corruption of foreign officials and falsifying documents. It said that the public prosecutor plans to seek sentences of two to 10 years in detention.

Israeli authorities arrested Steinmetz in December 2016. He was later released under restrictive conditions.

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