Soros persuades U.S. judge to allow $10 billion Guinea
mine case arbitration
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[November 30, 2017]
By Jonathan Stempel
NEW YORK (Reuters) - A U.S. judge on
Wednesday put on hold a $10 billion lawsuit against George Soros in
which companies controlled by fellow billionaire Beny Steinmetz claimed
his campaign of defamation cost them a lucrative iron ore deposit in
While rejecting Soros' request to dismiss the lawsuit, U.S. District
Judge John Keenan in Manhattan said the hold should continue pending an
arbitration between Steinmetz's BSG Resources and the West African
country of Guinea, which he said would likely resolve many underlying
"We are pleased with the decision," said Joseph Baio, a lawyer for Soros.
"We are pleased that the court did not dismiss the claims," said Louis
Solomon, a New York-based lawyer for BSG. "We think the arbitration will
strengthen our case here, and look forward to continuing the lawsuit."
Soros, 87, is worth $8 billion and Steinmetz, 61, is worth $1.15
billion, Forbes magazine said on Wednesday.
BSG accused Soros and groups he helps fund of propagating "untrue"
corruption allegations and paying Guinean officials to strip it of
mining rights, causing it to lose its rights to the Simandou deposit in
It said the Hungarian-born Soros had been driven by a grudge dating to
1998, when he "falsely concluded" that Steinmetz cost him a big business
loss in Russia, as well as hostility toward Israel. Steinmetz is
In Wednesday's decision, Keenan said Soros established that the "same
key issues" in the April 2017 lawsuit underlay BSG's arbitration before
the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes in Paris,
which began in August 2014.
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Business magnate George Soros arrives to speak at the Open Russia
Club in London, Britain June 20, 2016. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor/File
Keenan said BSG would not suffer "undue hardship" by waiting for the arbitration
to take its course, and that a resolution "will likely provide significant
insight into, if not actually resolve" claims in the lawsuit, including fraud
Steinmetz's ability to travel has been restricted since last December, when he
was put under house arrest for two weeks in connection with a probe into alleged
bribery of senior public officials in Guinea.
BSG and Steinmetz have denied wrongdoing, and Steinmetz was released without
charge. On Nov. 15, a court in Israel said Steinmetz could leave that country,
but not travel to Africa and all but six countries in Europe.
The New York case is BSG Resources (Guinea) Ltd et al v Soros et al, U.S.
District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 17-02726.
(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Tom Brown)
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