Skip to comments.Total's CEO Charged in Iran Probe
Posted on 03/22/2007 11:44:17 PM PDT by CutePuppy
Total's CEO Charged in Iran Probe
By PIERRE-ANTOINE SOUCHARD The Associated Press Thursday, March 22, 2007; 6:26 PM
PARIS -- An investigating judge filed preliminary charges Thursday against the chief executive of Total SA in a corruption case linked to a 1997 contract with Iran, the company and judicial officials said.
Preliminary charges were filed against Total Chief Executive Christophe de Margerie for alleged abuse of company assets and corruption of foreign agents, the judicial officials said. They were not authorized to speak publicly about the case and provided information only on condition of anonymity.
De Margerie, who replaced Thierry Desmarest as Total's CEO in mid-February, was released after two days of questioning in the case. However, he is forbidden to meet with certain people during the investigation, the officials said without elaborating.
De Margerie is also targeted in an investigation into Total's activities in Iraq.
French police are investigating whether Total paid bribes to win a contract to develop the South Pars gas field in the Persian Gulf along with other allegations of wrongdoing, judicial officials have said. The contract was a joint venture with the Russian company Gazprom and Malaysia's Petronas, the officials said.
In a statement, Total confirmed that preliminary charges were filed against its CEO concerning an investigation "related to the development of the South Pars project in Iran." It said it was confident the investigation would show "the absence of any illegal activities."
Total noted that it had signed a contract in 1997 with the National Iranian Oil Company for the project. It confirmed an earlier statement that no laws were broken at the time.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...
Couldn't happen to a more well deserving candidate......
Thanks for the heads up on this one. It's a TOTAL shock. What do you suppose is going on? Insulating themselves by giving up De Margerie on Iran?
I also read that a French carrier had entered the Gulf. It looks as though the French are suddenly getting nervous about the situation in the Middle East. I wonder what's up.
Doubt there's anything to "Charles de Gaulle" in the Gulf - at least official explanation from both US and France is that "it represents our cooperative operations in support of coalition efforts in Afghanistan", "and is conducting missions in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and International Security Assistance Forces (ISAF)". I have no reason to think that it has anything to do with Iran.
de Margerie charge is somewhat murky at this moment, it might have something to do with the elections and/or, as you mentioned, prevent-defense on OFF and now Iran. With Chirac out, and Sarkozy likely to win, they might want to start with clean slate, and de Margerie would certainly be dispensable.
is this dude in charge of the cereal?
Hmmm, now Iran has kidnapped a bunch of British sailors who were conducting a smuggling investigation in inflatable boats. Things are definitely heating up with Iran.
They have been for a while... It's about time, too, I would think :~) It's (relatively) awfully quiet everywhere else.