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9 Jul 2021

Clooney Foundation for Justice

Swedish Supreme Court should block Lundin Energy's attempt to evade justice over alleged human rights abuses in Sudan, says expert

"Sweden’s Chance to Take a Stand on Corporate Complicity in International Crimes", 6 Jul 2021

Sweden’s courts should stop the attempts of energy executives to escape justice for crimes against humanity, The Docket, part of the Clooney Foundation for Justice, said today. Former Chairman and CEO of Swedish energy group Lundin Energy, Ian Lundin and Alex Schneiter, face charges of complicity in international crimes committed in Sudan during the country’s Civil War.

An opinion filed by Ambassador Stephen Rapp, who previously served as the Prosecutor of the Special Court for Sierra Leone and the Chief of Prosecutions at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, on behalf of The Docket, dismisses the executives’ claims that the prosecution should not proceed because their right to fair trial within a ‘reasonable time’ under the European Convention of Human Rights has been violated...

The Clooney Foundation for Justice’s expert said in his opinion submitted to the Supreme Court of Sweden that the claim, which has already been dismissed by both district and appeal courts in Sweden, has no legal basis. Previous rulings from the international criminal tribunals and from the European Court of Human Rights on similar cases show that the seriousness of the allegations and the complexity of the investigation mean the length of the prosecution’s investigation has not been unreasonable, the opinion reported. The Supreme Court must also consider Sweden’s international legal obligations to investigate, prosecute, punish, and provide effective remedies for victims of gross human rights violations and international crimes such as those alleged in this case.

“Bringing corporate actors to justice for their involvement in human rights violations is difficult and time-consuming, but essential if the victims of these violations are to achieve justice,” said Ambassador Stephen Rapp. “Corporations have virtually endless resources to hinder and delay the prosecution and to try to render the survivors powerless. It is critical for the state authorities to stand with the survivors and resist efforts to close this process before its just conclusion.  To do anything else would be a betrayal to the people of South Sudan, who have already suffered so much.”