JUST IN: Eni, Shell Acquitted In Nigeria Oil Block Corruption Case

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An Italian court in Milan has acquitted has Eni and Royal Dutch Shell in the oil industry’s biggest corruption trial, the case centers around the purchase of a Nigerian oilfield by Eni and Royal Dutch Shell for $1.3 billion about ten years ago.

After more than three years of proceedings and 74 hearings, judges withdrew to their chambers on Wednesday to consider their verdict, said Marco Tremolada, who heads the panel of judges.

Prosecutors have called for Eni and Shell to be fined and for a number of past and present managers from both companies, including Eni Chief Executive Claudio Descalzi, to be jailed. The defendants have all denied any wrongdoing.

The long-running case revolves around the purchase of the OPL 245 offshore oilfield in Nigeria in 2011 from Malabu Oil and Gas, a company owned by former Minister of Petroleum Dan Etete.

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