Italy+ACYAIw-039+ADs-s Top Court Rejects Appeal To Stymie Shell, Eni Corruption Trial

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+ADw-p+AD4-by +AKA-Reuters+ADw-/p+AD4
Wednesday, June 13, 2018+ADw-/div+AD4
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+ADw-p+AD4-ROME, June 13 (Reuters) – Italy’s Supreme Court threw out an appeal from Shell and four former Shell managers to stymie a corruption trial that has also involved Eni’s chief executive, legal sources said on Wednesday.+ADw-/p+AD4
+ADw-p+AD4-The long-running graft case on alleged corruption in Nigeria, revolves around the 2011 purchase by Eni and Shell of Nigeria’s OPL-245 offshore oilfield for about +ACQ-1.3 billion. The trial began last month, with the next hearing set for June 20.+ADw-/p+AD4
+ADw-p+AD4-The appeal was aimed at reversing the trial to the preliminary hearing stage due to what it said were procedural errors, but the court decided the appeal was inadmissible.+ADw-/p+AD4
+ADw-p+AD4-Nine current and former executives or contractors, including Eni Chief Executive Claudio Descalzi, have been accused by Italian prosecutors of paying bribes to secure the licence to explore OPL-245. The field holds an estimated 9 billion barrels of oil but has never entered production.+ADw-/p+AD4
+ADw-p+AD4-All have denied wrongdoing. An Eni spokesman on Wednesday reiterated that Eni denied any wrongdoing.+ADw-/p+AD4
+ADw-p+AD4-If found guilty, those on trial could face jail.+ADw-/p+AD4
+ADw-p+AD4-A Shell spokeswoman said on Wednesday: +ACI-Based on our review of the Prosecutor of Milan’s file and all of the information and facts available to us, we do not believe that there is a basis to convict Shell or any of its former employees.+ACIAPA-/p+AD4
+ADw-p+AD4-As a rule, the Supreme Court does not comment on its decisions.+ADw-/p+AD4
+ADw-p+AD4APA-em+AD4(Reporting by Domenico Lusi in Rome, additional reporting by Valentina Za in Milan, writing and additional reporting by Shadia Nasralla in London+ADs Editing by Dale Hudson/David Evans)+ADw-/em+AD4APA-/p+AD4
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