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Court Rejects Swedish Energy Executives’ Claim in Win for Victims of International Crimes

In a step towards justice for the victims of atrocities during Sudan’s civil war, the Supreme Court of Sweden has rejected Lundin Energy executives’ claim that their right to a fair trial “within a reasonable time” has been violated.

Former Chairman Ian Lundin and CEO Alex Schneiter’s failed attempt to invoke the European Convention of Human Rights was the latest in a series of efforts to derail the Swedish Prosecutor’s investigation into alleged corporate complicity in international crimes during Sudan’s 1997 – 2003. It also represents a victory for The Docket – a Clooney Foundation for Justice Initiative – and its partners who are providing legal support to the victims of these crimes.

“We welcome the decision by the Supreme Court,” said Anya Neistat, Legal Director at The Docket, a Clooney Foundation for Justice initiative that is working with Swedish lawyers representing the victims. “In rejecting the energy executives’ unfounded claims, Sweden has signaled its commitment to upholding its responsibility to investigate and prosecute international crimes, bringing perpetrators to justice, and providing remedies for Sudanese victims.”

After reviewing the materials in the case, including submissions by Ambassador Stephen Rapp – who previously served as Prosecutor of the Special Court for Sierra Leone and Chief of Prosecutions at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda – on behalf of The Docket, the Supreme Court found no reason to grant the executives leave to appeal their claims.

Between 1997 and 2003, Sudanese government forces and their allied militias burned villages and destroyed crops to depopulate the areas where companies, including Lundin Energy (then called Lundin Oil) carried out oil exploration projects. Thousands of people were killed, raped, tortured, abducted, and forcibly displaced from their homes. After non-governmental organizations exposed the crimes – and Lundin Energy’s alleged complicity in them – Swedish prosecutors launched an extensive investigation, naming the executives as suspects in November 2016. The Swedish prosecutors have signaled that indictments for alleged complicity in international crimes are imminent.

The Docket, an initiative of the Clooney Foundation for Justice, gathers evidence of international crimes to trigger prosecutions of perpetrators and support victims in their pursuit of justice.

For more information, please contact the media team: [email protected]

For more information on The Docket: https://cfj.org/project/the-docket/

For more information on The Clooney Foundation for Justice: https://cfj.org/

PDF of full legal opinion here