In June 2010, the Swedish Prosecution Authority initiated a preliminary investigation into alleged ‘complicity’ by Lundin in crimes against international humanitarian law committed by the Government of Sudan and associated militias from 1997 to 2003. Lundin and its representatives have continuously and proactively cooperated with the Swedish Prosecutor, including by voluntarily complying with requests for documentation and facilitating interviews with Lundin personnel.
None of Lundin’s representatives committed or were complicit in any violations of international humanitarian law by the Government of Sudan or associated militia and the Company did nothing wrong.
Lundin’s activities in Sudan were ordinary business activities. We first invested in Sudan in 1997 in the lead up to the Khartoum Peace Agreement with a legitimate expectation that we would be operating in a peaceful environment. We were part of an international consortium formed with companies from Austria (OMV), Malaysia (Petronas) and Sudan (Sudapet), which, at all times, operated in compliance with the law. Lundin and the consortium was a responsible, long-term investor, engaging with the Government of Sudan and other stakeholders as an advocate for peace and, when operations were suspended, making a return to operations conditional on a sustained peace settlement.
There were no sanctions in place against European companies throughout Lundin’s time in Sudan. On the contrary, the European Union, and Sweden, had a policy of constructive engagement with Sudan. In 2001, Lundin adopted a Code of Conduct affirming its commitment to the highest corporate responsibility standards. Further, Lundin carried out various community development and humanitarian assistance projects for the benefit of the local population. We actively engaged with the local population to ensure that our operations were having a positive impact on contributing to improve living conditions. Even after Lundin left Block 5A in 2003, we remained committed to peace-building efforts in then southern Sudan.
See “History in Sudan”
For these reasons, we totally reject any allegations of wrongdoing by Lundin or its representatives in Sudan. Lundin is also extremely concerned about the fairness and legal basis of the investigation. When allegations about multinational oil companies first came to light in 2001, Lundin invited representatives of the Swedish government to Sudan to investigate for themselves. The invitation was declined. Now, nearly 20 years later, the Swedish Prosecution Authority is attempting to investigate. The circumstances in South Sudan are so unstable that neither the prosecution nor the defence is able to access the alleged crime scene and witnesses are afraid to come forward and speak to the defence out of fear that they will suffer reprisals.
In the absence of a proper factual investigation, the Swedish Prosecution Authority relies on recollections years after the allegations in question, hearsay and secondary evidence contained in NGO reports. This is all the more concerning given that the reliability of such reports has been repeatedly called into question by international criminal tribunals. Time and again, Lundin has brought these issues to the attention of the Swedish Prosecutor. However, they have never been properly or objectively considered.
See further “Case Implications”
In 2018, the Swedish Prosecution Authority initiated a second preliminary investigation related to allegations of interference in a judicial matter in the complicity case. In 2023, the Swedish Prosecutor decided to close the preliminary investigation of alleged interference, due to insufficient evidence that a crime had been committed.
The trial is planned to start at the Stockholm District Court on 5 September 2023, and is expected to go on until mid-February 2026.
LEGAL CASE TIMELINE
Indictment / Interference Investigation