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Sweden accuses leaders of complicity in war crimes in Sudan



(Reuters) – Swedish prosecutors on Thursday brought charges against the chairman and former CEO of Lundin Energy for complicity in war crimes committed by the Sudanese army and allied militia in southern Sudan from 1999 to 2003.

Prosecutors said the company had asked the Sudanese government to secure a potential oil field, knowing that this would mean seizing the area by force. This made the commanders involved in war crimes then committed by the Sudanese army and allied militia against civilians.

the war in a way that was prohibited under international humanitarian law, "the prosecutor's office said in a statement.

Sweden launched an investigation in 201

0 following a report on Lundin's presence in Sudan by the Dutch NGO PAX, which has called for an the company's role in human rights violations there.

Sweden-based Lundin Energy said in a statement that they reject all grounds for accusations of error. It identified the accused executives as chairman Ian Lundin and former CEO Alex Schneiter, now a board member. The company, known as Lundin Oil until 2001, sold its operations in Sudan in 2003.

Ian Lundin's lawyer Torgny Wetterberg said on Thursday that his client was innocent: "The prosecutor will never be able to reach convictions. The prosecution is flawed in all respects. . "

Mr. Schneiter's lawyer was not immediately available for comment.

Prosecutors also filed a claim for confiscation of SEK 1.39 billion (USD 161.7 million) from Lundin Energy, which is equivalent to the company's profit from the sale of the Sudan business in 2003. The company said it would dispute that claim.

The company, whose shares closed nearly 5% on Thursday, also said Ian Lundin would not stand for re-election as chairman at the next AGM.

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