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11 Jul 2023

Unpaid Debt

Sweden: With 220 scheduled court days, the Lundin trial is set to be the longest in Swedish history

"The Lundin trial beats all records in Sweden", 11 July 2023

The Stockholm District Court has released the timetable for the Lundin trial. The case against Ian H. Lundin, Alex Schneiter, and Lundin will to be heard from Tuesday 5 September until 19 March 2026. That is an astonishingly long time, during which the court will hear 95 plaintiffs and witnesses. The scale of the crimes and the complexity of the case are incomparable with any other in Swedish criminal history.

In Sweden, complicity in international crimes can be punished with life imprisonment and the court may declare Lundin’s operation a criminal enterprise and forfeit all benefits for an estimated €130 million. The stakes are high and there will be a long and tough legal battle.

The defendants Ian Lundin and Alexandre Schneiter stand accused of having supported gross and systematic international crimes, that were committed by Sudanese military and allied militia in the interest of their company Lundin. The suspects and their company Lundin, that was recently stripped of its valuable assets and renamed Orrön Energy, deny any wrongdoing.

The criminal investigation opened in June 2010. Since then, two plaintiffs and three witnesses have sadly passed away. The length of the investigation is highly unusual in ordinary criminal cases, but less so in war crimes cases that are typically quite complicated. The Lundin investigation covered 5 years of company operations in an environment that was full of twists and turns. The police had no access to Sudan or South Sudan and could not visit the place of the crimes or interview primary perpetrators, while the suspects employed many lawyers who know how to give prosecutors a hard time and cause delays...

[T] he prosecutor and the defence will deliver their concluding pleas in February and March 2026, bringing the total number of scheduled court days to 220... Depending on the court’s judgement, either the prosecution or the defence are expected to appeal, which could prolong the case into AD 2028 before final judgment.

Several prominent personalities will be called to testify...

The 34 South Sudanese plaintiffs will claim damages. While Swedish criminal law applies to the criminal charges, contemporary Sudanese law applies to the civil claims that are added to the case.