Two world oil giants, Eni and Shell, are to face trial in Italy over allegations of corruption in Nigeria.
The case comes to the acquisition of an offshore oil block in Nigeria for $1.3bn (£1bn) in 2011.
The firms deny wrongdoing, pronouncing they bought the rights based on Nigerian regulation.
The trial in Italy is anticipated to begin in March subsequent 12 months. It follows a long investigation by way of Italian prosecutors.
Anti-corruption watchdog World Witness says it might be probably the most greatest company corruption trials in historical past.
The firms also are dealing with fees in Nigeria over the case, which issues Nigeria’s OPL-245 – an offshore oilfield estimated to carry 9bn barrels of crude oil – secured by way of Shell and Eni in 2011.
The allegation is that a huge a part of the $1.3bn fee went to not the Nigerian state however to Nigerian politicians as a bribe.
Emails despatched between Shell control, that have been launched by way of World Witness in April, counsel Shell used to be conscious the cash would finally end up within the wallet of Nigerian politicians.
In addition to the 2 companies, key people within the firms are dealing with fees together with Eni’s CEO Claudio Descalzi and previous Shell govt Malcolm Brinded.
The prosecution declare that the oil firms used a Nigerian intermediary, a former oil minister Dan Etete, to pay the bribe.
Mr Etete will even pass on trial.
In a press liberate issued on behalf of its board of administrators, Eni stated it used to be assured that neither the corporate nor its CEO have been concerned within the alleged unlawful behavior.
A Shell observation stated it used to be assured that not anything unlawful had happened, including: “We consider the trial judges will conclude that there’s no case towards Shell or its former workers.”