Total, CEO acquitted in Iraq oil-for-food scandal
PARIS - ReutersFrench oil giant Total has been acquitted of corruption charges related to the U.N. oil-for-food programme in Iraq by a Paris criminal court.
The court also cleared 18 individuals on July 8, including Total CEO Christophe de Margerie who was accused of misusing assets in the decade-old case into corruption in the programme, in which an illicit $1.8 billion flowed to Saddam Hussein’s government. Swiss oil trader Vitol was found not guilty of corrupting foreign public agents and Charles Pasqua, an ex-French interior minister, was cleared of passive peddling of influence and corrupting foreign public agents.
Designed to ease the suffering of the Iraqi people, the oil-for-food programme allowed Iraq to sell some of its oil, despite the embargo imposed after the first Gulf War, in exchange for humanitarian goods.
Total’s lawyer, Jean Veil, said the company was satisfied. “For eight years our clients have been anxiously awaiting this decision,” Veil said