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Article

11 Jan 2014

Author:
Hasan Dindjer, Rights Watch (UK)

Prosecuting Corporate Pillage

Pillage is a war crime...[and] is both a serious breach of the laws of war...and, as resource-fuelled wars across the world attest, one that sustains some particularly brutal conflicts...[H]ow can corporations that buy pillaged resources themselves be held legally accountable?...[Recently] Swiss authorities launched a criminal investigation into the gold refiner Argor-Hareaus following a complaint [which alleges] that gold pillaged by the FNI, an armed group in the DRC, was sold...to Argor. [The company] vigorously denies the allegations...The complaint also alleges the “direct involvement” of Jersey-based Hussar Ltd...[and] Hussar Services Ltd...The results of the investigation [have been passed] on to the UK authorities and the Jersey authorities. [In the UK] pillage is incorporated as a domestic criminal offence by the International Criminal Court Act 2001, [but] the question remains whether corporations can be prosecuted under the ICC Act at all...

Part of the following stories

Argor-Heraeus investigation (re Dem. Rep. of Congo)

NGO analyses how companies buying pillaged resources can be held legally accountable