Israeli tycoon ordered to stand trial over alleged Guinea bribes
Swiss prosecutors allege diamond-mining magnate Beny Steinmetz paid $10 million in 2005-2010 to Guinea president’s wife to squeeze out competitor
GENEVA — Swiss prosecutors said an Israeli billionaire has been ordered to stand trial on corruption and bribery charges allegedly involving a widow of Guinea’s former president.
Prosecutors in Geneva allege that diamond-mining magnate Beny Steinmetz and two other defendants paid $10 million in bribes to squeeze out a competitor for mining rights in Guinea’s southeastern Simandou region between 2005 and 2010.
The three are accused of issuing false contracts and invoices to hide bribes allegedly paid to a wife of Guinean President Lansana Conte, who died in 2008.
The prosecutor’s office said Monday that the charges include corruption of foreign officials and falsifying documents. It said that the public prosecutor plans to seek sentences of two to 10 years in detention.
Israeli authorities arrested Steinmetz in December 2016. He was later released under restrictive conditions.