As an appeal court in Geneva upheld bribery accusations and a prison term against him, mining mogul Beny Steinmetz claims “George Soros-funded campaigns” have corrupted the Swiss judicial system.
In January 2021, Steinmetz will serve time in prison for corruptly acquiring Guinea’s massive Simandou iron ore mine.
On Tuesday, although his appeal was denied, the Geneva Court of Appeal lowered his five-year sentence to three years with 18 months suspended. An SFr50mn ($55mn) fine was confirmed.
The appeals of two of Steinmetz’s accomplices were also denied.
Soon after the court’s ruling was announced, Steinmetz pledged to file a final appeal with the Swiss Federal Court in Lausanne.
The Israeli-French millionaire who now resides in Switzerland issued a statement condemning the “iniquitous ruling” of the Geneva court.
The statement said that Steinmetz is looking forward to presenting his case at the federal level since the federal court is an institution that is autonomous from the friendly spirit of Genevan municipal courts and George Soros-funded campaigns.
Steinmetz’s assertion was deemed “crazy” by a spokeswoman for Soros.
Steinmetz has a long-standing resentment towards Soros, and he has previously accused Soros of plotting to sabotage his investments in Guinea by sponsoring activists, political opponents, and law firms there.
In a defamation suit filed in 2017, he falsely accused Soros of paying Mamadie Touré, the wife of Guinea’s late president Lansana Conté, to testify against him in his bribery trial.
Two years ago, Swiss courts convicted Steinmetz guilty of paying $8.5mn to Touré to get access the Simandou deposit.
To bribe Touré and acquire the valuable Simandou rights, Steinmetz allegedly participated in a complex and sophisticated conspiracy, according to the Geneva Court of Appeal.
The court stated that significant efforts were made to conceal the corrupt enterprise, including attempts to directly contact Touré to obtain and destroy incriminating documents from her possession and plan to restructure corporate holding structures to disguise the money trail.
But, it reversed a forgery conviction against the Israeli investor handed down by a lower court.