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Israeli tycoon ordered to trial over alleged Guinea bribes

GENEVA — Swiss prosecutors say an Israeli billionaire has been ordered to stand trial on corruption and bribery charges allegedly involving a widow of Guinea’s former president.

Prosecutors in Geneva allege that diamond-mining magnate Beny Steinmetz and two other defendants paid $10 million in bribes to squeeze out a competitor for mining rights in Guinea’s southeastern Simandou region between 2005 and 2010.

The three are accused of issuing false contracts and invoices to hide bribes allegedly paid to a wife of Guinean President Lansana Conte, who died in 2008.

The prosecutors’ office said Monday the charges include corruption of foreign officials and falsifying documents. It said the public prosecutor plans to seek sentences of two to 10 years in detention.

Israeli authorities arrested Steinmetz in December 2016. He was later released under restrictive conditions.

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