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Shell former upstream chief: Nigeria oilfield deal was ‘lawful and correct’

Shell former upstream chief: Nigeria oilfield deal was ‘lawful and correct’

By Reuters Staff: DECEMBER 9, 2020

MILAN (Reuters) – Shell’s former international upstream head Malcolm Brinded had no reason to think that the awarding of the OPL-245 oilfield license in Nigeria was illegal, his lawyer said on Wednesday.

In a court hearing in Milan, Marco Calleri said his client believed the deal would bring money and benefits to Nigeria and its government and that it was lawful and correct.

“I stand by my view that there is absolutely no basis for the charges against me,” Brinded said in a comment sent by email.

Brinded is one of four former Shell executives caught up in a long-running bribery case revolving around the purchase of the OPL 245 offshore field in 2011 for about $1.3 billion.

Prosecutors allege that about $1.1 billion of that was siphoned off to politicians and middlemen.

Eni, Shell and a series of other present and former executives, including Eni CEO Claudio Descalzi, are also standing trial in the case.

The companies and all those involved deny any wrongdoing.

Reporting by Alfredo Faieta; writing by Stephen Jewkes; Editing by Steve Orlofsky

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