Steinmetz lawyer: proceedings are attempt by Guinea to seize mining rights

TEL AVIV (Reuters) - A lawyer for Israeli billionaire Beny Steinmetz, who on Sunday was detained by police in relation to allegations of bribery and corruption in Africa, said the proceedings are a way for the government of Guinea to “illegally expropriate” mining rights.

“The current proceedings are a recycling of an old process led by the government of Guinea ... in order to illegally expropriate BSGR’s mining rights,” Yuval Sasson said in a statement.

“These are continuous and baseless attempts meant to conceal the corruption aimed at illegally expropriating assets,” Sasson said.

BSGR describes Steinmetz as an adviser to the company, which is headquartered in the Channel Islands and is a mining arm of Steinmetz’s business conglomerate.

Reporting by Ari Rabinovitch; Editing by Tova Cohen