The Paris prosecutor recommended that the company and its CEO, Christophe de Margerie, stand trial on corruption charges along with two other people, the office said in a statement. The investigating judge now has to decide whether a trial should go ahead.
De Margerie was placed under formal investigation in 2007 by French judges looking into allegations Total, Europe’s third-largest oil company, paid bribes to win contracts signed in 1997 with National Iranian Oil Co. to develop South Pars, one of the world’s largest natural gas fields.
De Margerie took over as head of Total in February 2007. Just over a month after he took the helm, he was placed under formal investigation for alleged misuse of funds and corrupting foreign civil servants after being held in custody for two days for questioning.