Total boss in Iran corruption probe

French oil group chief questioned over bribe claims in Iran gas deal.

    De Margerie took his job as Total's chief executive in February [AFP]
    The current investigation, which began last December, centres on allegations that Total paid bribes to win a contract to develop Iran's South Pars gas field in 1997.
     
    It is common practice in France for a suspect to be held for questioning for up to 48 hours, after which the judge may or may not file formal charges.
     
    A Total spokesman said the company stood behind the officials under questioning.
     
    "The agreement signed in 1997 was done in accordance with applicable laws," Paul Floren said.
     
    De Margerie was head of exploration and production at Total before succeeding Thierry Desmarest as the group's chief executive.
     
    On February 14, a day after he was confirmed in his new post, de Margerie told a news conference: "I would like to underline it's just an inquiry and there has been no outcome. I am calmly waiting for that."

    SOURCE: Agencies


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