Court Allows Access to Vital Material Needed to Prosecute Shell, Eni Over Corrupt OML 245 Deal

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 Switzerland’s top court has allowed Geneva prosecutors to share with Italy material they seized more than three years ago that could shed light on a case involving oil majors Eni (ENI.MI) and Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) and corrupt payments in Nigeria.

In a ruling announced on Monday, the Federal Tribunal rejected Nigerian defendant Emeka Obi’s appeal to prevent photocopies of items and computer files from his confiscated suitcase from being sent to Italian crimefighters.

The Swiss court said the case did not fall within the narrow scope of permissible appeals to the Lausanne-based tribunal.

Geneva prosecutors have been reviewing material in the suitcase to decide what can be shared with Italian authorities.

The Federal Tribunal had already rejected last year an appeal by Obi to prevent his suitcase from being unsealed.

In that ruling, the court said the confiscated material – including documents, an external hard drive, British and African passports, and USB keys – could have “potential pertinence” in the criminal investigation and the sealing could be lifted without violating Swiss law.

Obi, through his lawyers, has denied any wrongdoing.

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