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Article

2 Jun 2015

Author:
Conflict Awareness Project, Open Society Justice Initiative & TRIAL

Swiss decision to close Argor case encourages “head in the sand” attitude

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The Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland (OAGS) decided not to further prosecute the Swiss precious metals company Argor-Heraeus SA, that handled dirty African gold. While Swiss authorities acknowledged that Argor did refine looted gold and violated its duty of diligence, the case was nonetheless closed, a decision met with disbelief by the three NGOs working on the case.Together with Conflict Awareness Project (CAP), the Open Society Justice Initiative (OSJI) supported a legal complaint filed in November, 2013 by TRIAL (Track Impunity Always), in which the Swiss NGO accused Argor of illegally processing over three tones of pillaged gold from the Democratic Republic of Congo. According to the NGOs, this decision undermines international efforts to eliminate the illegal resource trade that fuels conflicts around the world.On 10 March 2015, the Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland...closed the Argor case and concluded that there was no reason to believe that the company had been aware of the criminal origin of the three tons of gold...TRIAL, OSJI and CAP find this outcome hard to believe...

Part of the following stories

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

Swiss General Attorney not to prosecute Argor-Heraeus over refining of alleged pillaged gold by illegal armed group in Rep. Dem. of Congo