Henrik Attorps, the prosecutor leading the preliminary investigation into Lundin Petroleum’s activities in Sudan between 1997 and 2003, is irritated over attempts by the company’s lawyers to influence the government.
The prosecutor has needed the government’s permission to go ahead and press charges against Ian Lundin, the chairman, and Alex Schneiter, Lundin’s chief executive, who was head of exploration at the time, since the alleged crimes were committed overseas. Attorps notes that the defence lawyers hired a number of retired Swedish legal professors who supported the opinion of Ian Lundin, that is to say that the government should not grant permission. However, just over a fortnight ago, the Ministry of Justice gave the prosecutor the go-ahead.
Robert Eriksson, manager of media communications at the Lundin group, is surprised by Attorp’s reaction, saying it should be a matter of course in a state of law that all sides are allowed to speak, and it was in light of this that the company sent its opinion to the Ministry of Justice.
The prosecutor and defence lawyers also have differing opinions about whether a case should be judged under Swedish or international law, in the event of a trial. Swedish law, says the prosecutor, while Lundin lawyers argue that international law should apply.
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