Total, others cleared in ‘oil-for-food’ case

Total SA, its chief executive officer, and 17 other defendants have been cleared of corruption charges in France related to the United Nations program that allowed Iraq to sell oil despite international sanctions during 1995-2003.

The Paris Criminal Court dismissed allegations of bribery and influence peddling at the time of the UN’s “oil-for-food” program.

Defendants, in addition to Total and Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Christophe de Margerie, included five former Total employees, the Swiss trader Vitol, and a former French interior minister.

De Margerie was senior vice-president, Middle East, at the time the misconduct was alleged to have occurred.

Since the French investigation began in 2009, Total had denied knowledge of surcharges paid on purchases of Iraqi oil and argued that its purchases were legal and approved by the UN.

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