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4 Sep 2023

Lena Bjurström, Justice Info,
Africanews avec AFP

Trial of two former executives of Lundin charged with complicity in war crimes in Sudan begins in Sweden

"Oil and War Crimes in Sudan: Lundin Trials Opens in Sweden", 4 Sep 2023

A historic trial opens in Stockholm on September 5, both in terms of its scope and the people involved. Alex Schneiter and Ian Lundin, respectively former chairman and former director of the Swedish company Lundin Petroleum, are accused of complicity in war crimes perpetrated between 1999 and 2003 by the Sudanese army and allied militias in an area of what later became South Sudan where the company was exploiting an oil field...

...Between 1999 and 2003, following Lundin’s discovery of an oil deposit, the Sudanese army and allied militias carried out large-scale military operations to control this area "and create the necessary conditions for oil extraction", the Swedish prosecutor's office says in a statement published in mid-August. "For four years, until Lundin Oil left in 2003, they led systematic attacks on civilians, or at least indiscriminate attacks, in violation of international humanitarian law," prosecutor Henrik Attorps explained in an interview with Justice Info in 2021. These included bombings, shooting at civilians from helicopter gunships, burning villages and crops.

... These accusations are rejected outright by the defendants and the company...commissioned its own analysis of the accusations against it.

...The trial will be watched with particular interest, as the charges brought against Schneiter and Lundin target the actions of the oil company Lundin Petroleum. The criminal liability of private companies does not exist in Sweden, so the company cannot be charged as a legal entity. "But when an individual or a company makes a profit from a crime, that profit can be confiscated to the extent of any variation in its value," prosecutor Attorps explained to us in 2021. In addition, the company can be fined...

"This lawsuit sends a very strong signal to companies and their executives in Sweden and elsewhere," says Olof Björnsson, programme manager at the NGO Swedwatch..."This shows that their actions and failure to respect human rights can lead to criminal prosecution."...