Royal Dutch Shell, Italian oil giant Eni and some senior executives at the two firms face trial in Milan on Monday over corruption charges relating to a $1.1billion (£800m) deal for a Nigerian oil block tagged Malabu Oil scandal.
The Milan public prosecutor alleges that $520million from a 2011 deal to buy rights to a vast oil block off Nigeria’s coast was converted into cash and intended to be paid to the then Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, members of the government and other Nigerian government officials.
The prosecutor further alleges that money was also channelled to Eni and Shell executives with $50million in cash delivered to the home of Eni’s then head of business for Sub-Saharan Africa, Roberto Casula.
Four former Shell staff members face trial, including Malcolm Brinded, former executive director for upstream international operations, along with and two former MI6 agents employed by Shell.
Also standing trial are Eni’s chief executive Claudio Descalzi, former chief executive Paolo Scaroni, and chief operations and technology officer Roberto Casula.
Shell, Eni and their executives have denied all charges. The trial comes after years of campaigning by anti-corruption groups Global Witness, The Corner House and Re: Common as well as British-born Nigerian campaigner Dotun Oloko. Tribune/
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