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Italy prosecutors ask to drop obstruction of justice case for Eni, CEO

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MILAN (Reuters) - Italian prosecutors have asked for a case against Eni and its head over alleged obstruction of justice in corruption cases in Nigeria and Algeria to be dropped, two sources with direct knowledge of the matter said on Friday.

Eni Chief Executive Claudio Descalzi had been investigated by prosecutors in the preliminary proceedings, but the sources said the case against him, another manager and the company would now be dropped as evidence clearing them had been found.

Both Eni and CEO Descalzi's lawyer declined to comment.

Milan prosecutors had been set to ask for a dismissal for Eni and its head in December 2021, but the investigation was transferred to the city of Brescia for jurisdictional reasons before being sent back to Milan only a few weeks ago.

The case revolves around allegations that between 2014 and 2019 some senior managers at Eni tried to discredit witnesses in cases involving alleged corruption in Nigeria and Algeria.

Defendants in the two corruption cases in Nigeria and Algeria have since been acquitted.

While asking to drop the case against the company and the two executives, Milan prosecutors also requested trial for five former Eni managers and a lawyer for alleged criminal conspiracy aimed at obstructing justice and slandering witnesses.

One judge will now have to ratify the dismissal, while another judge will schedule a preliminary hearing to decide whether to order a trial for the other suspects or acquit them.

(Reporting by Emilio Parodi; Editing by Keith Weir)