Eni executive takes leave of absence over corruption allegations

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An executive of Italian oil major Eni, Roberto Casula, who is being investigated over corruption allegations, has taken a leave of absence from the company.

Casula, a former head of Africa operations for the state-controlled major, has been questioned by Milan prosecutors in a case involving alleged corruption in the Congo Republic.

“Noting the recent allegations made against me, and given the esteem in which I hold our business and colleagues, I have decided to take a temporary leave of absence from work,”

“My primary objective is to fully and promptly address these allegations and cooperate to the fullest extent with the judicial authorities,” Casula said in an emailed comment to Reuters.

Casula is also one of a series of defendants, including the Eni CEO, due to stand trial next month over alleged corruption in Nigeria in a case involving the 2011 purchase by Eni and Shell of the offshore oilfield.

The companies and Eni’s CEO have denied any wrongdoing.

“Eni hopes for Casula’s swift return to work. In the meantime (his) position… has been temporarily covered by another senior manager,” an Eni spokesman said.

Casula is Eni’s Chief Development Operations and Technology officer. His position is being temporarily filled by Alessandro Puliti, who is Executive Vice President of Reservoir and Development Projects, Eni said on its web page.

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