Alleged Corruption in Nigeria - Oil Giants Face Trial in Italy

An Italian judge has ordered Royal Dutch Shell and Eni to stand trial over alleged corruption in Nigeria. The case involves the 2011 purchase of Nigeria's OPL-245 offshore oilfield - one of Africa's most valuable oil blocks - for about U.S.$1.3 billion. The companies deny wrongdoing, saying they acquired the rights in accordance with Nigerian law. The trial in Italy is expected to start in March next year.



For years, Shell had strenuously denied that it knew anything about the involvement of convicted money launderer and former Nigerian oil minister Dan Etete in its purchase of the rights to one of Nigeria's biggest oil fields. But last week, the British environmentalist and anti-corruption organization, Global Witness, published confidential emails written by a Shell employee. This correspondence, which went right to the top of the Shell management hierarchy, proves that there was a direct link to the convicted Nigerian.

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