French court fines two for bribing Nigerians

30th January 2013, Comments 0 comments

A Paris court on Wednesday found two former executives with French oil services firm Technip guilty of bribing Nigerian officials to win a contract to build a gas facility.

A former general manager at Technip, Jean-Marie Deseilligny, was ordered to pay a 10,000 euro ($13,500) fine while the group's ex-commercial manager for Africa, Etienne Gory, was sentenced to a 5,000 euro fine.

Prosecutors had requested fines of 100,000 euros for each of the defendants, in a case that involved tens of millions of dollars in bribes and international criminal investigations.

The two were implicated in a bribery scheme between 1995 and 2004 to obtain construction contracts worth more than $6 billion to build liquefied natural gas facilities on Bonny Island in the Niger Delta.

Technip was part of a joint venture bidding for the contract with US construction company KBR, whose former head was last year sentenced to 30 months in prison in the case by a US court.

Both firms and other companies in the joint venture have paid hundreds of millions of dollars in fines in connection with the case.

The companies hired two agents to pay bribes to Nigerian officials to obtain the contracts, paying firms controlled by the agents a total of $182 million.

One of the agents, British attorney Jeffrey Tesler, is serving 21 months in prison after pleading guilty in the case in a court in Texas.

© 2013 AFP

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