Geneva prosecutor Claudio Mascotto is accusing the Israeli billionaire Beny Steinmetz and two other people on suspicion of corruption. The three are suspected of giving $10 million in bribes to the wife of the former Guinea president, for mining concessions, according to Reuters.
The Geneva lawsuit said on Monday that the time related to Steinmetz’s company BSR Group (Beny Steinmetz Resources) accusations is between 2005 and 2010.
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“The attorney general’s office accuses the three of having promised in 2005 and then paid or had bribes paid to one of the wives of former Guinean President Lansana Conte so as to eliminate a competitor and have the contract for mining rights in the Simandou region allocated to Beny Steinmetz Group Resources,” Geneva prosecutor Claudio Mascotto said.
The three will also be charged with forgery.
Steinmetz denies the actions attributed to him and stated: “Just as the Guinea government has backed its claims, and just as the Romanian court awarded Steinmetz a total credit for the false charges brought against him, here, too, it will be shown that Steinmetz’s activities are not adhered to very spotlessly.
As for Israel – the investigation has been going on for more than three years on the same matters, without any basis for suspicion. Mr. Steinmantz is awaiting a decision to end the investigation and close the case.
“It should be emphasized that the investigation was opened in Switzerland due to the request of the Government of Guinea, which has long since reiterated its international arbitration procedure, hence this is a farfetched charge. Steinmetz has long appealed against the procedure and conduct of the investigating judge in Switzerland.”