After being sentenced to five years in prison on a bribery conviction, Beny Steinmetz continues to wage a legal battle of global proportions. Who is this Franco-Israeli businessman who is on first name terms with the world’s most powerful leaders? The Africa Report had access to an exclusive interview with Steinmetz in Geneva.
This is part 1 of a 4 part-series.
As soon as the verdict was read, the former diamond dealer announced that he would appeal the court’s ruling, well aware that Geneva is just one step in the global legal battle he has been waging from Tel Aviv to Rio de Janeiro to London (and which also includes a lawsuit campaign against his archnemesis, American billionaire George Soros).
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Mandela, Ouattara, Condé, Sarkozy and co.
The 64-year-old mining and real estate tycoon’s future lies in the hands of courts far removed from the diamond mines of Botswana and South Africa and the mineral-rich lands of Angola and Sierra Leone, where, in a bygone era, the Netanya-born Steinmetz built his business empire that is now under scrutiny.
Who is this man who has rubbed shoulders with the likes of José Eduardo dos Santos and Nelson Mandela, and later down the line scored meetings with Moussa Dadis Camara, Alassane Ouattara and Alpha Condé?
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And who has close associates such as Nicolas Sarkozy and his name attached to a sprawling network of 131 corporate entities – by some experts’ estimates – which he does not run?
In this series adapted from an extensive interview with Steinmetz, The Africa Report brings the diamond magnate into focus.
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