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Soros-linked group sued for snooping on mining executives

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Brendan Bordelon Contributor
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Global Witness, an advocacy group heavily funded by left-wing billionaire George Soros, was sued Monday in London’s High Court by four people who claim the organization obtained and held their private information in violation of British law.

The group, which bills itself as an outfit speaking truth to corporate power, says it “investigates and campaigns to prevent natural resource related conflict and corruption, and associated environmental and human rights abuses.”

But it may have taken one investigation a bit too far. Benjamin Steinmetz, an Israeli billionaire who runs the mining company BSG Resources (BSGR), claims he and three other top executives somehow lost private data to Global Witness. They want to know exactly what information was obtained and how, and they are suing under British disclosure law to get answers.

Why are Soros and his proxies targeting BSGR? The company holds contracts for iron mines in the West African nation of Guinea. That nation’s president, Alpha Conde, has attacked BSGR for making windfall profits and accused them of paying out massive bribes to former governments. BSGR, however, claims the accusations are merely pretexts for Guinea’s government to expropriate the company’s wealth.

Billionaire financier George Soros has been a key backer of Conde since 2011, providing money and legal assistance to the African autocrat as he jacks up mining industry fees, pursues industry nationalization and steals elections. And as an important part of Soros’ worldwide political machine, Global Witness was there to repeatedly accuse BSGR and other corporations of corruption on Conde’s behalf (RELATED: Meet George Soros’ favorite African strongman).

According to the court filing, Global Witness rejected legal requests in 2012 that it turn over information — a requirement under the British Data Protection Act — on the grounds that they never had the information in the first place. But they also claimed that even if they possessed the data, they wouldn’t be required to turn it over. That set off alarm bells.

Once BSGR filed a complaint with a UK’s Information Commissioners Office, Global Witness began to backtrack. The commissioner reported it “was unlikely Global Witness has complied with requirements of the [law] in this case,” and the group itself finally admitted it possessed information of a “business career” and “biographical” nature on at least some of the individuals. But while government investigators “recommended” Global Witness divulge their information, the commissioner inexplicably failed to take further action against the group.

No one knows exactly how much data the group obtained. But a source close to the case told The Daily Caller News Foundation that BSGR believes offices and databases containing sensitive information were “burglarized, tapped or hacked,” though by whom remains unknown.

Global Witness did not respond to a TheDCNF’s request for comment, but told Reuters it “intends to robustly defend its position and regards the claim as an attempt to stifle journalism in the public interest.”

TheDCNF also reached out to George Soros’ Open Society Foundations and Michael Vachon, Soros’ personal spokesman. Both did not respond to a request for comment. Soros told the Financial Times last year that he had no interest in carving out a piece of the Guinean mining industry for himself and harbored “no personal grudge” against Steinmetz.

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