Beny Steimetz appeal trial: the competence of Swiss justice questioned

After being sentenced to five years in prison and ordered to pay 50 million Swiss francs, Beny Steimetz appeared before the Swiss courts for his appeal. The French-Israeli is being prosecuted for bribery of foreign public officials in the case of the gigantic Simandou iron ore mine in southeastern Guinea.

The billionaire's new lawyers, Daniel Kinzer and Christian Lüscher (two heavyweights of the Swiss Bar), intend to use a new line of defense to have their client's conviction overturned. To do this, the defense lawyers question the competence of the Swiss justice system which, according to them, cannot condemn a citizen in a case concerning Simandou when he is not prosecuted by the Guinean justice system.

Phone taps to incriminate Beny Streimetz

In front of the judges of the appeal chamber of the Geneva correctional court, the prosecutor Yves Bertosa, who asked for the same sentence as in the first instance trial (5 years in prison and a fine of 50 million Swiss francs), explained that Swiss justice relies on the phone taps it obtained from the FBI to prosecute its citizen Beny Steimetz. The FBI wiretaps reveal a telephone conversation between Frederic Cillins and Mamadie Touré, the fourth wife of the late Guinean president, Lansana Conté. Cillins, Bany Steimetz's right-hand man, is heard asking Mamadie Touré to destroy documents that would be compromising for Beny Steimetz.

The defense asks for the acquittal of its client and indicates that if there was corruption, it took place in Guinea and the Swiss justice does not have to stick its nose in a case that does not concern it.

After several days of debates, the judges of the appeal chamber of the Geneva correctional court postponed the deliberation to a later date.

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