The Statoil/Horton case refers to the company’s use of bribes in Iran in 2002–2003 in an attempt to secure lucrative oil contracts in that country. This was mainly achieved by hiring the services of Horton Investments, an Iranian consultancy firm owned by Mehdi Hashemi Rafsanjani, son of former Iranian President Hashemi Rafsanjani. Horton Investments was paid $15.2 million by Statoil to influence important political figures in Iran to grant oil contracts to Statoil. The corruption scandal was uncovered by the Norwegian paper Dagens Næringsliv on September 3, 2003. In 2006, the company accepted a $10.5 million fine for violating the U.S Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
The Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of French oil corporation Total S.A.
Death: De Margerie died in an aircraft crash in Moscow on 20 October 2014, along with the three-member crew (Yann Pican, Maxime Rassiat and Ruslana Vervelle). The aircraft, the Dassault Falcon 50, hit a snowplow on take-off from the Vnukovo International Airport.
The oil group, legal entity, is the last defendant in this trial. The others have disappeared.
Christophe de Margerie, who at the time was managing director of Total Middle East, which he will later become the CEO, was killed in a plane crash in Moscow.
Iranian intermediary Bijan Dadfar, a leader of Baston Associated LTD, who was to be tried for complicity, has recently died of illness, his lawyer told Reuters.
Another Iranian intermediary prosecuted for complicity, Abbas Yazdi, reputedly close to Mehdi Rafsanjani, for his part was kidnapped in Dubai and his body was never found, according to his former French lawyer.