The Swedish Supreme Court has ruled that a Swedish court is competent to hear the indictment that has been brought against Lundin Oil for aiding and abetting international human rights violations in Sudan. The fact that the defendant is not in Sweden does not constitute an obstacle to Swedish court, says Judge Johan Danelius.

STOCKHOLM NOVEMBER 10: The Swedish Supreme Court has ruled that a Swedish court is competent to hear the indictment that has been brought against a Swiss former representative of Lundin Oil for aiding and abetting international human rights violations in Sudan.

In November 2021, the prosecutor brought charges against two people for aiding and abetting crimes against international law that they, in their capacity as representatives of companies within the Swedish oil company group Lundin Oil, allegedly committed in Sudan during the years 1999–2003. One person is a Swiss citizen and resident in Switzerland. He was in Switzerland when the charges were brought.

The Supreme Court has now examined whether a Swedish court is competent to hear the indictment against the Swiss citizen. The court notes that according to Swedish law, the crime is covered by so-called universal jurisdiction. This means that a Swedish court is, as a starting point, competent to try the case regardless of who has committed the crime, who the crime has been directed against and where the crime has been committed.

According to the Supreme Court, even in the exercise of universal jurisdiction, some form of connection to Sweden is required for a prosecution to be tried here. A further condition is that there is no obstacle to it in general international law.

– “The fact that the defendant is not in Sweden does not constitute an obstacle to Swedish court, says Johan Danelius, who is one of the judges who participated in the decision.

The handling of the criminal case now continues at the Stockholm district court.

Image: Enough Project

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