Israel: Israeli magnate set for corruption trial in Geneva

After a drawn-out international investigation, French-Israeli diamond magnate Beny Steinmetz will go on trial in Geneva next week over allegations of corruption linked to mining deals in Guinea.

The trial, due to kick off Monday and last for two weeks, will delve into allegations of multi-million-dollar bribes paid to top Guinean officials to win lucrative mining rights.

The 64-year-old billionaire businessman has travelled from Israel to Switzerland and will be present at the trial, according to his lawyer Marc Bonnet.

“We will plead his innocence,” Bonnant told AFP.

Following a six-year investigation spanning several countries, a Geneva prosecutor indicted Steinmetz in August 2019 on charges of corrupting public officials and forging documents to gain mining rights in Guinea.

Swiss prosecutors accuse Steinmetz and two partners of bribing a wife of former Guinean President Lansana Conte, and others, to win mining rights in the southeastern Simandou region.

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