Israeli diamond tycoon Beny Steinmetz has denied charges made by Swiss prosecutors that he bribed Guinean officials to win lucrative mining licences in the west African country.
Mr Steinmetz and two associates are alleged to have paid $10m to one of the wives of Lansana Conté, the former president of Guinea, in order to secure rights to one of the world’s largest untapped reserves of iron ore, partially through Swiss bank accounts. Prosecutors are seeking prison terms of two to 10 years for the three.
The Israeli billionaire has been enmeshed in legal battles around the globe stemming from allegations that his business orchestrated a bribery scheme to win the prized mining prospect, a source of the key ingredient needed to make steel.
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