Mining tycoon scores a win in corruption battle

The controversial mining tycoon Beny Steinmetz has won what he claimed to be a major victory involving corruption allegations in the troubled west African state of Guinea.

His London-based empire has been dogged by claims that he corruptlyobtained mining rights to what could be the world’s richest iron ore deposit under the previous president of the country. A French newspaper last year reported that he and his business had been part of a coup effort against current leader, Alpha Condé.

The report included evidence based on French secret service documents which, it emerged yesterday, the French ministry of defence says were fakes. The fakery claim is seen as important by Mr Steinmetz because of other allegations against him based on what he says are forged documents.

In the US, a Steinmetz associate, Frederic Cilins, has been charged with attempting to obstruct justice after allegedly trying to destroy documents sought by a federal grand jury investigation into the tycoon. Mr Steinmetz claims those, too, are forged.

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