Total faces corruption investigation

The Frence oil giant is again being examined on corruption charges relating to the UN Oil-for-Food p

A French judge has filed preliminary charges against Total, alleging it bribed Iraqi officials during former dictator Saddam Hussein's regime to secure oil supplies.

The latest charges are part of a long-running French investigation into corruption in the programme. The company also faces charges of complicity and influence-peddling in the case.

Total, in its annual report published last week, clarified that its activities were in compliance with the Oil-for-Food programme, which allowed Iraq to sell oil in exchange for food during the sanctions imposed after the 1991 Gulf war.

The programme ended in November 2003 after sanctions were lifted following the US-led invasion of Iraq. A UN report later revealed that a lot of Iraqi officials had received bribes from oil companies to secure contracts worth over $10bn (£6.5bn).