Italy’s Ministry of Justice has launched an administrative investigation of the trial of Eni over alleged corruption in Nigeria.
A statement noted two prosecutors from the Milan Public Prosecutor.
The ministry has asked investigators to carry out a preliminary probe and determine the facts. It will carry this out by acquiring certain documents, it said.
The state had suspended two prosecutors, Fabio De Pasquale and Sergio Spadaro, earlier this month, according to reports. They allegedly failed to provide documents that would have played a part in Eni’s defence.
The trial ended in March, with Eni and Shell acquitted on all counts. The trial included a number of high-ranking executives, and there had been the threat of prison sentences.
Eni said the acquittal in March had proved that the “company, the CEO Claudio Descalzi and the management involved in the proceedings have all behaved in a lawful and correct manner”.
Shell also welcomed the decision. CEO Ben van Beurden said the company had always maintained the 2011 contract was legal, “designed to resolve a decade-long legal dispute and unlock development of the OPL 245 block. At the same time, this has been a difficult learning experience for us.”
According to Italy’s ANSA, De Pasquale and Spadaro had acquired a video of a meeting between a former Eni manager, Vincenzo Armanna, and lawyer Piero Amara. The prosecutors failed to provide the video in the trial.
ANSA said the video raised concerns about Armanna, who was a prosecution witness. Armanna went on to allege that senior Eni officials had offered him a bribe to retract his testimony.