Swiss ruling paves way for documents to be shared in Nigeria oil bribery case

A Geneva prosecutor is reviewing material in a suitcase seized nearly three years ago to decide what can be shared with Italian authorities in a case involving oil majors Eni and Royal Dutch Shell and corrupt payments in Nigeria, his office said on Friday.

The prosecutor received the green light after Switzerland’s top court, the Federal Tribunal, rejected an appeal by Nigerian defendant Emeka Obi to prevent his bag from being unsealed.

The Lausanne court’s Nov. 8 ruling, published online, said that the confiscated material – including documents, an external hard drive, British and African passports, and USB keys – could have “potential pertinence” in the criminal investigation and the sealing could be lifted without violating Swiss law.

“The Geneva prosecutor now has access to all the material in conformity with the Federal Tribunal ruling,” it said. He will select the material to be handed over, it added. Under Swiss law, privileged information cannot be shared in international judicial assistance in criminal matters and the prosecutor’s choice of documents can be appealed.

Source: Reuters

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