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Thursday, December 2, 2021

Swedish oil executive charged with involvement in war crimes in Sudan

The main owner and former CEO of Lundin Energy has been charged with serious war crimes in Sudan. This is the first time a company manager has been sued for such serious crimes since the Nuremberg trial.

Ian Lundin, chairman and controlling family shareholder of the Swedish oil and gas producer, and Alex Schneiter, CEO from 2015 to 2020, are be accused On Thursday, the Stockholm prosecutor was indicted for participating in war crimes committed by the then-Sultan Omar al-Bashir regime.

The prosecutor also plans to confiscate 1.4 billion Swedish kronor (160 million U.S. dollars) from Lundin, which is mainly engaged in oil production and exploration in Norway.

“It is important not to forget these serious crimes. War crimes are one of the most serious crimes for which Sweden has an international obligation to investigate and bring them to justice,” said Henrik Atop, the prosecutor who led the 2010 investigation. (Henrik Attorps) said. We consider the defendant to be an accomplice in the crimes of the Sudanese regime. “

Human rights groups claim that a consortium led by the Lundin Petroleum Company began oil exploration in what is now South Sudan in the late 1990s, triggering a civil war that killed thousands of people, forced the displacement of nearly 200,000 people, and countless Rape and torture cases.

Three years ago, the Swedish Minister of Justice, after approving the prosecution, warned that if found guilty, the two could face life imprisonment.

Ian Lundin and Schneiter, who live in Switzerland, vehemently denied these allegations, and the company Said Since the investigation was “baseless and fundamentally flawed,” the allegations were “incomprehensible.”

Lundin Energy insisted on Thursday that it was operating in Sudan “responsibly” and “did not do anything wrong.”

The company said in a statement: “There is no evidence that any of Lundin’s representatives are involved in the alleged main crime in this case.”

Ian Lundin will now resign as chairman of next year’s annual meeting.

The Swedish prosecutor argued that in 1999, Lundin asked the Sudanese government to be responsible for the safety of the area surrounding its oil operations, which let Lundin know that the military needs to undermine the local peace agreement and control an area by force. They further claimed that the two men certainly understood or disregarded the fact that the war would be conducted in a manner prohibited by international humanitarian law.

“It is difficult to underestimate the international significance of the Lundin trial,” said Egbert Wesselink, a senior consultant for the Dutch NGO Pax for Peace.

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He added: “It is extremely difficult to make accusations within international jurisdictions. The Swedish prosecutors have shown admirable firmness. This investigation is an exemplary and rare effort aimed at getting companies involved in human rights violations. Explain its role.”

In recent years, Lundin has abandoned or split most of its international activities to focus on Norway, where Johan Sverdrup, the largest oil field in the North Sea has been discovered for decades. It was sold from Sudan in 2003, and the prosecutors are recovering the proceeds of the transaction.

Swedish prosecutors have universal jurisdiction over certain international crimes and use it to prosecute crimes committed in Iran and Rwanda.

The Lundin case is the most notable because it involves one of Sweden’s leading business families, which controls several oil, mining and natural resource companies.

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