NEW YORK (Reuters) – A U.S. judge on Wednesday placed on dangle a $10 billion lawsuit in opposition to George Soros through which corporations managed by way of fellow billionaire Beny Steinmetz claimed his marketing campaign of defamation price them a profitable iron ore deposit in Guinea.
While rejecting Soros’ request to push aside the lawsuit, U.S. District Judge John Keenan in Manhattan mentioned the dangle must proceed pending an arbitration between Steinmetz’s BSG Resources and the West African nation of Guinea, which he mentioned would most likely unravel many underlying problems.
“We are pleased with the decision,” mentioned Joseph Baio, a attorney for Soros.
“We are pleased that the court did not dismiss the claims,” mentioned Louis Solomon, a New York-based attorney for BSG. “We think the arbitration will strengthen our case here, and look forward to continuing the lawsuit.”
Soros, 87, is value $eight billion and Steinmetz, 61, is value $1.15 billion, Forbes mag mentioned on Wednesday.
BSG accused Soros and teams he is helping fund of propagating “untrue” corruption allegations and paying Guinean officers to strip it of mining rights, inflicting it to lose its rights to the Simandou deposit in April 2014.
It mentioned the Hungarian-born Soros have been pushed by way of a grudge courting to 1998, when he “falsely concluded” that Steinmetz price him a large industry loss in Russia, in addition to hostility towards Israel. Steinmetz is Israeli.
In Wednesday’s determination, Keenan mentioned Soros established that the “same key issues” within the April 2017 lawsuit underlay BSG’s arbitration prior to the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes in Paris, which started in August 2014.
Keenan mentioned BSG would now not endure “undue hardship” by way of looking ahead to the arbitration to take its route, and solution “will likely provide significant insight into, if not actually resolve” claims within the lawsuit, together with fraud and defamation.
Steinmetz’s skill to commute has been limited since final December, when he was once put below space arrest for 2 weeks in reference to a probe into alleged bribery of senior public officers in Guinea.
BSG and Steinmetz have denied wrongdoing, and Steinmetz was once launched at no cost. On Nov. 15, a court docket in Israel mentioned Steinmetz may depart that nation, however now not commute to Africa and all however six international locations 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 way of Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by way of Tom Brown