Sweden accuses leaders of complicity in war crimes in Sudan

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(Reuters) – Swedish prosecutors on Thursday indicted the chairman and former CEO of Lundin Energy on Thursday for complicity in war crimes committed by the Sudanese army and allied militias in southern Sudan from 1999 to 2003.

Prosecutors said the company had asked the Sudanese government to secure a potential oil field, knowing it would mean seizing the area by force. This made the leaders complicit in war crimes which were later perpetrated by the Sudanese army and allied militias against civilians.

“What constitutes complicity in the criminal sense is that they made these requests despite understanding or, at least, being indifferent to the military and militias waging war in a manner prohibited by international humanitarian law, ”prosecutors said. the authority said in a statement.

Sweden opened an investigation in 2010 following a report into Lundin’s presence in Sudan by the Dutch non-governmental organization PAX, which called for an investigation into the company’s role in human rights violations in this country.

Sweden-based Lundin Energy said in a statement it rejects any grounds for allegations of wrongdoing. He identified the indicted executives as Chairman Ian Lundin and former CEO Alex Schneiter, now a member of the board. The company, known as Lundin Oil until 2001, sold its operations in Sudan in 2003.

Ian Lundin’s lawyer, Torgny Wetterberg, said Thursday his client was innocent: “The prosecutor can never get convictions. The prosecution is flawed on all counts.”

Mr Schneiter’s lawyer was not immediately available for comment.

Prosecutors also filed a request for the confiscation of 1.39 billion crowns ($ 161.7 million) from Lundin Energy, corresponding to the profit the company made on the sale of the Sudan business in 2003. The company said that she would contest this request.

The company, whose shares closed nearly 5% on Thursday, also said that Ian Lundin will not stand for re-election as chairman at its next annual general meeting.


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