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Diamond magnate accused of ‘telling tall tales’ at Swiss graft trial

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GENEVA — Israeli diamond magnate Beny Steinmetz was accused of telling “tall tales” on Tuesday at his trial in Geneva, where he is accused of corruption linked to mining deals in Guinea.

Steinmetz repeatedly insisted that he was an adviser rather than the man at the top of the firm making all the decisions and aware of all the financial details.

The French-Israeli businessman, 64, insisted that “never in my life” had he asked anyone to pay money to Mamadie Toure, who prosecutors say was the fourth wife of former Guinean president Lansana Conte, and a key figure in the case.

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Prosecutor Yves Bertossa accused him of “telling tall tales.”

“You are a simple adviser who meets hundreds of ministers? In every company, it’s normally the big boss who does that!” he said. Prosecutor Yves Bertossa arrives at Geneva’s courthouse for the trial of French-Israeli diamond magnate Beny Steinmetz over alleged corruption linked to mining deals in Guinea on January 11, 2021. (Fabrice Coffrini/AFP)

Steinmetz is accused of having set up a complex financial web, including a system of front companies, in........

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