Saturday, December 4

Sweden charges Lundin Energy executives for complicity in Sudan war crimes


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STOCKHOLM — Swedish prosecutors on Thursday brought charges against the chairman and former CEO of Lundin Energy for complicity in war crimes in Sudan between 1999 and 2003.

“They are suspected of having been complicit in war crimes committed by the then Sudanese regime with the purpose of securing the company’s oil operations in southern Sudan,” the Swedish Prosecution Office said in a statement.

Sweden-based Lundin Energy said in a separate statement the indicted executives were Chairman Ian Lundin and former CEO Alex Schneiter, and that it rejected any grounds for allegations of wrongdoing.

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The company, known as Lundin Oil until 2001, sold its Sudan business in 2003.

Ian Lundin’s lawyer Torgny Wetterberg said on Thursday his client was innocent: “The decision to prosecute is sensationally incorrect. The prosecutor will never be able to reach convictions. The prosecution is deficient on every point.”

Schneiter’s lawyer was not immediately available for comment. Schneiter, who was CEO between 2015 and 2020, is now a board member.

The investigation was launched in 2010 https://www.reuters.com/article/us-sweden-sudan-idUSTRE65K3KD20100621 and has been grinding on since then. The company said in 2016 https://www.reuters.com/article/ ozabs-uk-lundinpetroleum-sudan-crime-idAFKCN12L1GS that prosecutors would question Lundin and Schneiter as part of the investigation.

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In connection with the indictment, prosecutors also filed a claim to confiscate 1.39 billion Swedish crowns ($161.66 million) from Lundin Energy, corresponding to the 720 million crown profit that the company made from the sale of the business in 2003, the prosecution authority said.

Sudan waged war for decades in South Sudan, which became an independent state in 2011, and in other restive parts of the country. Sudan’s former president Omar al-Bashir, who ruled from 1989 until he was toppled in 2019 after street protests, is wanted by the International Criminal Court in the Hague for genocide and other war crimes, which he denies.

($1 = 8.5983 Swedish crowns) (Reporting by Anna Ringstrom Editing by Peter Graff)

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