Saipem to challenge Algerian court ruling in criminal case
Saipem will "promptly" challenge a decision by the Algiers court of appeal before the country's supreme court, in a criminal case concerning a 2008 contract award, the company said on June 28.
The case that began in 2019 relates to Algerian oil company Sonatrach's award of a €2.8bn turnkey contract to Saipem, Snamprogetti and Chiyoda for the construction of a 4.7mn metric ton/year train in Arzew. Saipem and its subsidiaries have been charged with "having obtained a contract, with a price higher than the correct value, concluded with a state-owned commercial and industrial company, benefitting of the influence of representatives of that company," and of “false custom declarations."
The appeals court in Algiers upheld a ruling by the court of Algiers in February, imposing fines and damages against Saipem and its subsidiaries totalling the equivalent of €199mn ($209mn) – an amount that the company set aside in its 2021 financial statements.
The tribunal of Algiers has also sentenced two former Saipem employees, including the then head of the Arzew project and a former Algerian employee, to five and six years of imprisonment respectively. Another Saipem employee was acquitted of all charges.