INTERNATIONAL NEWS - Italian energy giant Eni said Thursday it had filed a request with a Milan court to pay 14 million dollars (11.8 million euros) to settle an investigation into corruption in Congo-Brazzaville levied at the company and one of its managers.
According to Italian media, the probe was first launched in 2017, and relates to payment of suspected bribes when oil licences in Congo-Brazzaville were being renewed in 2015.
To secure renewal, Eni was accused of agreeing to sell parts of its licence to a shell corporation maintained by Congolese public officials.
In a statement, Eni said the request was not an admission of guilt, "but an initiative aimed at avoiding the continuation (of) a judicial process that would entail further expenditure of resources from Eni and all the involved parties".
The court reducing the alleged offence from international corruption to undue inducement had paved the way for a settlement, the company explained.
Eni refused to divulge to AFP the name of the manager implicated.
The news comes the day after an Italian court cleared Eni and Shell of charges related to a major oil exploration deal in Nigeria in which $1.1 billion allegedly ended up in the pockets of corrupt politicians and middlemen.
Among the 13 individual defendants was Eni's chief executive, Claudio Descalzi, for whom prosecutors sought an eight-year prison term.
Descalzi was targeted by another investigation by a Milan court in 2019, accused of not disclosing a potential conflict of interest regarding Eni's activities in Congo-Brazzaville, allegations dismissed by the company as "without any foundation".