The trial of top executives from oil majors Eni (ENI.MI) and Shell (RDSa.L) over alleged corruption in Nigeria kicked off on Monday with a brief procedural hearing and a decision to re-adjourn next month.
At the next hearing, set for June 20, the Milan court said it would assess requests from third parties, including a series of international non-profit organizations, to join the case.
At Monday’s hearing Domenico Cartoni Schittar, a lawyer representing the Nigerian government, said he was stepping down from his role.
In comments in a signed document seen by Reuters, Cartoni Schittar said he had given up on a mandate which he said had become “awkward”.
The long-running graft case revolves around the 2011 purchase by Eni and Shell of Nigeria’s OPL-245 offshore oilfield for about $1.3 billion.
Milan prosecutors allege bribes were paid to win the license to explore an oil block that holds an estimated 9 billion barrels of oil but which has never entered into production.
Global Witness, a campaign group that has conducted its own investigations, has described the case as one of the biggest corruption scandals in the history of the oil industry.
Eni CEO Claudio Descalzi and former Shell Foundation Chairman Malcolm Brinded are standing trial along with 11 other defendants and the two companies.
All the accused have denied any wrongdoing.
The former Shell executives involved in the case have claimed a procedural error was made when the original ruling to send the case to court was taken and have applied to Italy’s
Leadership Crisis Hindering NBBF Sponsorship Drive – Kida
The Gathering Storm In Edo APC
ExxonMobil, Other Oil Coys Not Leaving Nigeria, Says Kachikwu
China: Connecting The World Through Belt & Road
How APC Won 2019 Elections – Bulama
NEWS15 hours ago
Train Derailment Delays Free Train Ride
NEWS16 hours ago
Man Chops Off Finger After Voting For Wrong Party
NEWS23 hours ago
Oyetola, Ooni Task Security Chiefs On Infiltration Of Bandits
NEWS16 hours ago
Minimum Wage: NLC, TUC Laud Buhari Over Assent
SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY17 hours ago
Renewable Energy: ICT, Finance, Others, Priority Areas To Improve Women’s Access
NEWS21 hours ago
Onnoghen Conviction Victory For Corruption Fight – Presidency
AFRICA16 hours ago
Easter: 13 Dies As Church Collapse In South Africa
NEWS17 hours ago
JRT’s 12th Festival of Theatre To Entice Present Internet Generation To The Stage