War Crimes: Oil executives on trial in Sweden over Sudan war crimes role

STOCKHOLM: Two former executives at a Swedish oil firm go on trial in Stockholm on Tuesday accused of complicity in battle crimes dedicated by Sudan’s regime between 1999 and 2003.
Swede Ian Lundin and Swiss nationwide Alex Schneiter are accused of asking Sudan’s authorities to make its army liable for safety on the website of one in all Lundin Oil‘s exploration fields, which later led to aerial bombings, killing of civilians and burning of whole villages, in line with the prosecution.
Lundin was chief government of household agency Lundin Oil, now often known as Orron Power, from 1998-2002, and Schneiter was vice chairman on the time.
The pair have denied any wrongdoing.
The trial is ready to be the largest in Swedish historical past, following a 13-year probe, a greater than 80,000-page investigation report, and with closing arguments scheduled for February 2026.
The 2, who had been formally named as suspects in 2016, face the formal cost of “complicity in grave battle crimes” dedicated through the rule of Omar al-Bashir.
After Lundin Oil struck oil in 1999 within the “Block 5A” subject in what’s now South Sudan, the Sudanese army, along with an allied militia, “led offensive army operations to take management of the realm and create the mandatory preconditions for Lundin Oil’s oil exploration,” Sweden’s prosecution service mentioned in a 2021 assertion asserting the costs.
“In our view, the investigation reveals that the army and its allied militia systematically attacked civilians or carried out indiscriminate assaults,” public prosecutor Henrik Attorps mentioned.
This included “aerial bombardments from transport planes, taking pictures civilians from helicopter gunships, abducting and plundering civilians and burning whole villages and their crops.”
Prosecutors argue that the accused had been complicit as a result of Lundin Oil knew that asking Sudan’s authorities to make the army liable for safety meant it might take management of the realm by “army pressure”.
“What constitutes complicity in a felony sense is that they made these calls for regardless of understanding, or in any case being detached to, the army and the militia finishing up the battle in a approach that was forbidden in line with worldwide humanitarian regulation,” chief public prosecutor Krister Petersson mentioned.
If convicted, Lundin and Schneiter threat life sentences.
The prosecution has already requested that the 2 be banned from any enterprise undertakings for 10 years.
It has additionally requested for the confiscation of two.4 billion kronor ($218 million) from Orron Power, equal to the revenue the corporate made on the sale of its Sudan operations in 2003.
Waste of time
The defence has argued that the prosecution’s case doesn’t maintain up.
“Our opinion is that these two years that can now be spent within the district court docket might be an enormous waste of time and assets,” Torgny Wetterberg, a lawyer for Ian Lundin, instructed AFP on the eve of the trial.
Wetterberg mentioned the defence disagreed with the prosecution’s descriptions of occasions, and that it had constructed its case on circumstantial claims with no concrete proof.
“From our perspective it’s a thriller that the prosecutor is transferring ahead with this case,” Wetterberg mentioned, including that he was assured the prosecution had no likelihood of getting a conviction.
Sweden can prosecute crimes dedicated overseas in its court docket system, although the federal government needed to give its approval to indict a overseas nationwide for crimes dedicated overseas.
When the costs had been introduced, Schneiter argued that the precept of common jurisdiction didn’t apply to him as he was neither a resident nor a citizen.
His objection was finally dismissed by Sweden’s Supreme Courtroom, ruling in November 2022 that “some type of connection to Sweden” was vital for an indictment and that Schneiter’s connection “in different regards” was “ample”.

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