Sweden’s Justice Minister Morgan Johansson announced on October 22 that two oil executives employed by Stockholm-based Lundin Petroleum can be prosecuted for assisting in crimes against humanity that were carried out in Sudan between 1997 and 2003.

IF charge and convicted the two suspects – Swiss national Alex Schneiter, who is currently the CEO of Lundin, and the company’s chairman, Ian Lundin, -face life imprisonment.

According to Sweden’s Justice Ministry, the charges relate to funds that Lundin Petroleum provided to the Sudanese Army and death squads responsible for clearing pockets of the local population in areas the company would carry out oil exploration activities.

According to aid and human rights groups, up to 12,000 Sudanese died of starvation and 160,000 people were displaced in areas were Lundin was active between 1997 and 2003.

The International Public Prosecution Office in Sweden initiated a preliminary investigation on this case in June 2010. Alex Schneiter became a formal suspect 2016.

Lundin Petroleum claims that the allegations are groundless and that the company has been “a force for development in Sudan” for many years, according to a statement released on Lundin’s website.