The Supreme Court of Sweden has today rejected the request by the defense lawyers of Ian Lundin, Alex Schneiter and Lundin Energy to hear their appeal to end the war crimes investigation against them. The suspects had argued that their right to a fair trial within a reasonable time has been infringed, invoking article 6(1) of the European Convention on Human Rights. The Supreme Court states that it has reviewed the material and “not found any reason to grant leave to appeal.”
The rejection confirms the opinions of Karolina Bonde and Ambassador Stephen Rapp that Lundin has been misusing human rights law and that the defense’s claim was unfounded. It is another blow for the suspects, whose continuous attempts to stop the investigation against them have all failed for lack of legal merit.
Critics claim that the decision again exposes Lundin Energy’s flawed legal strategy. They argue that the company’s claim that it continuously and proactively cooperates with the investigation is contradicted by the many unmerited legal appeals that have delayed the course of justice.
Publicly available information from the suspects’ defense teams indicate that they are preparing to undermine the credibility of witnesses, question the integrity of human rights organisations, assert that citizens “from countries like South Sudan” are less trustworthy than Swedes, and argue that the indictment is based on an unspecified “narrative” around religious persecution and oil wars. They have requested an extraordinary 150 court days for themselves.
Lundin Energy has never refuted the facts that support the allegations of its involvement in human rights violations. The homework of its lawyers’ suggests that in court the suspects will rely on detraction and legal technicalities rather than on their ability to present exonerating facts.