October 3, 2019 / 6:12 PM / 16 days ago

Italian prosecutors ask for Techint owners to stand trial in Brazil graft case - sources

MILAN, Oct 3 (Reuters) - Italian prosecutors conducting a corruption investigation into a company that controls Italian steel pipe giant Tenaris have asked for the company and its owners to be sent to trial, two judicial sources said on Thursday.

The case revolves around alleged bribes paid to an executive at Brazilian energy group Petrobras to win contracts worth around 1.4 billion euros ($1.5 billion).

Petrobras was not immediately available in response to Reuters’ emailed request for comment.

According to a legal document seen by Reuters, the prosecutors claim a manager at Italy’s Techint Group allegedly paid a total of around 6.6 million euros to the Petrobras executive over the period 2009 to 2014.

Techint, which is owned by Italy’s Rocca family through its financial holding San Faustin, owns just over 60% of Tenaris.

The prosecutors, who wrapped up their investigations earlier this year, have asked for San Faustin, Paolo Rocca, Gian Felice Rocca and another executive called Roberto Bonatti to be sent to trial. Lawyers representing San Faustin, the Rocca brothers and Bonatti said Italian prosecutors did not have jurisdiction in the matter since the company was based in Luxembourg. They also said there was no evidence of any alleged wrongdoing in Italy.

San Faustin, which has 450 companies around the world and generated revenues of more than $90 billion in the period 2009-2012, said it had always acted within the law in the countries where it operated.

It said it had commissioned an independent third-party audit of the allegations which found no evidence that its managers were involved in corruption nor in any illicit behaviour.

$1 = 0.9105 euros Reporting by Alfredo Faieta, additional reporting by Emilio Parodi in Milan and Gram Slattery in Sao Paolo, writing by Stephen Jewkes, editing by Alexandra Hudson

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