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Lawyer of French-Israeli diamond dealer claims it’s ‘impossible’ to hold trial

The trial of diamond dealer Beny Steinmetz for alleged corruption linked to mining deals in Guinea is “impossible,” owing to the absence of key witnesses, his lawyer argues.

French-Israeli magnate Steinmetz is on trial in Geneva, facing charges of bribery.

On today’s final day of evidence, the 64-year-old’s lawyer Marc Bonnant underscores the absence of Mamadie Toure, said by prosecutors to be the fourth wife of former Guinean president Lansana Conte.

French-Israeli diamond magnate Beny Steinmetz comes back to Geneva’s courthouse during his trial over allegations of corruption linked to mining deals in Guinea, on January 11, 2021, in Geneva. (Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP)

Toure has admitted she received payments, and has protected witness status in the United States.

Summoned to Geneva Criminal Court, she did not appear — nor did a dozen other defense witnesses.

“I hold this trial to be impossible,” Bonnant tells the court.

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