GENEVA (AP) — A lawyer for an Israeli diamond magnate facing charges in Switzerland of corruption and forging documents said Wednesday his client didn’t send “a single dollar” to “anybody” in Guinea linked to the West African country’s late former President Lansana Conte, rejecting allegations by a Geneva prosecutor. Tycoon Beny Steinmetz and two other defendants have been ordered to stand trial in connection with $10 million in bribes allegedly paid to a former wife of Conte. The payouts were allegedly part of a plot by Steinmetz’s BSGR Group to squeeze out a competitor for mining rights in Guinea’s southeastern Simandou region in 2005-2010. “Beny Steinmetz denies any wrongdoing. He has done that since the beginning of the proceeding,” lawyer Marc Bonnant said in an interview at his office in a leafy Geneva neighborhood. “He never sent a single dollar to any official of the Guinea regime under Lansana Conte — neither to the president nor to his wife or to his mistress or to anybody.” Bonnant said Steinmetz will appear for the trial, which isn’t expected for months. If convicted, he could face two to 10 years in prison. The Geneva prosecutor’s office on Monday announced the three have… Read full this story
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