The Italian ministry of justice has ordered an inquiry into the conduct of two prosecutors in the Malabu oil scandal involving two oil majors, Shell and Eni in Nigeria.
The prosecutors based in Milan are; Fabio De Pasquale and Sergio Spadaro. Both men were placed under official investigation by magistrates earlier this month; for allegedly not filing documents that would have supported Eni’s position, Reuters reports.
In a statement released to Italian media; the Italian Justice ministry said it had decided to move in the wake of the judicial investigation; as well as following criticism of the pair by the trial judges.
“The ministry has asked the inspectorate to carry out preliminary investigations to correctly reconstruct the facts by acquiring the necessary documents,” it said.
However, Reuters said Milan’s top prosecutor said last week that he backed the two men. His vote of confidence came after a trial lasting more than three years.
Eni and Shell had been involved in the alleged corrupt acquisition of the Malabu oil field. The Malabu oil field, acquired for about $1.3bn over a decade ago, had seen both oil majors dragged to court.
The Malabu oil scandal was regarded as the industry’s biggest corruption scandal.
However, a Milan court had acquitted Eni and Shell in March 2021.
Reuters reports that in papers filed on June 9; the judges criticised the way the prosecutors had carried out their work.
The prosecutors were accused of failing to file with the trial documents a video shot by a former Eni external lawyer, which they said was relevant to the case