April 25, 2018 / 6:21 PM / a month ago

Eni executive involved in corruption probes takes leave of absence

MILAN, April 25 (Reuters) - Eni executive Roberto Casula has taken a leave of absence from the Italian oil major, a company spokesman said on Wednesday without giving any reason for the decision.

“As covered by general contractual terms, Mr Casula has asked the company for a period of temporary leave of absence,” the spokesman said in emailed comments.

Casula, a former head of Africa operations for the state-controlled major, is currently being investigated by Milan prosecutors in a case involving alleged corruption in the Congo Republic.

He 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 OPL-245 offshore oilfield.

The companies and Eni CEO have denied any wrongdoing.

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

The Eni Chief Development Operations & Technology Officer has been temporarily replaced by Alessandro Puliti, who is currently executive vice president of Reservoir & Development Projects, Eni said on its web page.

It was not immediately possible to reach Casula for comment.

Reporting by Stephen Jewkes Editing by Mark Heinrich

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