By Udeme Akpan
Shell Petroleum Development Company Limited, SPDC, has denied its involvement in the $1.3 billion Malabu oil deal as an Italian court plans to rule on the case.
In a statement sent to Vanguard, yesterday, Shell stated: “Based on our review of the Prosecutor of Milan’s file and all of the information and facts available to us, we do not believe that there is a basis to convict Shell or any of its former employees.
“If the evidence ultimately proves that improper payments were made by Malabu or others to then current government officials in exchange for improper conduct relating to the 2011 settlement of the long standing legal disputes, it is Shell’s position that none of those payments was made with its knowledge, authorisation or on its behalf.
“We believe the trial judges in Italy will conclude that there is no case against Shell or its former employees.
“Shell attaches the greatest importance to business integrity. It’s one of our core values and is a central tenet of the business principles that govern the way we do business. Shell has clear rules on anti-bribery and corruption and these are included in our Code of Conduct for all staff. There is no place for bribery or corruption in our company.”
Already, Reuters had stated that oil majors, Shell and Eni, will be carefully monitoring a first ruling this week by a Milan judge in one of the energy industry’s biggest corruption scandals for clues to what might be round the corner for them.