6 November 2019
Open Letter from Ian H. Lundin and Alex Schneiter
We last wrote to you on 15 November 2018 after Final Notice had been served on the two of us, and the Company, and when the Swedish Government had granted approval in principle for the Swedish Prosecution Authority to proceed with an indictment in the case.
The Swedish Government granted such approval without taking into account our submission and the multiple objections raised as to why a prosecution should not be allowed to proceed. Furthermore, Government ministers who participated in the decision had a clear conflict of interest and should have recused themselves from the process. We appealed the Government’s decision to the Supreme Administrative Court, which rejected our appeal on the basis that we were not deemed to be a concerned party. We believe that it is unacceptable that our arguments were never considered, in particular in view of our right to a fair trial and an effective remedy under Articles 6 and 13 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
Additional information has recently surfaced showing that Government ministers involved in the decision to allow for this case to proceed have actively pursued and criticised the Company since 2006 and have also handed personal files to the Prosecution Authority after the preliminary investigation started in 2010. We believe this is further evidence they were conflicted and should never have been part of the approval process.
In September 2019, almost a year after Final Notice was served, we were informed that the Final Notice period had been suspended and that both of us would be interviewed again and may be handed new suspicions. The suspension and state of legal “limbo” we find ourselves in increases our concerns over not only the length of this case, which is now in its tenth year, but also the irregularities and flaws that have become apparent in the process. In our view, the Prosecution Authority has overstepped its authority and made some grave errors, including by handing over to the plaintiffs’ lawyers confidential investigation materials. Even though this act in particular was deemed by the Prosecutor General to have been “unlawful” when it happened previously, it happened again despite reassurances that it would not. We have therefore made another complaint to the Parliamentary Ombudsman about this matter and are awaiting a decision.
A separate investigation into alleged interference in a judicial matter has also been opened and both of us have been notified of suspicions that we have harassed or bribed Prosecution Authority witnesses. It is suggested that we somehow continue to do so today, although we remain in the dark as to precisely what we are accused of.
We can only reiterate (as we have to the Prosecution Authority) that these allegations are absolutely false and there are no grounds for any allegations of wrongdoing against us or any representative of Lundin. We and the Company have always acted with the highest ethical standards in support of our defence case, and would never undertake any such contradictory and damaging actions. We have in fact ourselves requested that the Prosecution Authority investigate allegations of harassment and intimidation of witnesses for the defence. Some of these witnesses have decided that they can no longer be involved in the case because they believe that doing so might put them in physical danger. However, the Prosecution Authority has consistently refused to engage with us in a meaningful way on this issue and appears unconcerned by these allegations.
To compound matters, we have also recently learned that the Prosecution Authority has sought to remove members of our defence team through unreasonable claims, which actions we find highly questionable in light of our right to a fair trial, including the right to defence counsel of our choosing.
Finally, this case is based upon the exercise of universal jurisdiction by Sweden without applying international law. Such particular practice will have repercussions not just for us as individuals, and for the Company, but also for other Swedish and international companies and executives who have, or may seek to undertake, legitimate, poverty reducing and economic growth supporting business activities in developing countries.
We are determined to fight this injustice not only through the Swedish legal process, but, as necessary, also through the international judicial system. We remain convinced that there are absolutely no grounds for any allegations of wrongdoing against us or any representative of Lundin. We strongly believe that Lundin was a force for development in Sudan and did everything in its power to advocate for peace by peaceful means. We also have faith that the Swedish courts will ultimately make the right decision should the case move forward. We nonetheless hope that reason and justice will prevail and that we will soon see a closure of these investigations.
Ian H. Lundin
Chairman of the Board
President & CEO
More information regarding the past operations in Sudan can be found in our dedicated website and report Lundin history in Sudan, which provides a detailed account of our activities in the region through the period 1997‐2003.