(Adds company lawyer, details)
GENEVA, March 24 The chief executive officer and
legal director of Addax Petroleum in Geneva have both been
arrested and charged with suspected bribery of foreign
officials, the spokesman for the canton's prosecutor said on
A criminal procedure has also been opened against the
company - bought by China's state-owned Sinopec, Asia's largest
oil refiner in 2009 - prosecutor's spokesman Henri della Casa
"I can confirm that the Geneva prosecutor has opened a
criminal investigation into bribery of foreign officials and
that the company Addax and its director-general and legal
director are the subject of it," della Casa said.
Le Temps quoted Saverio Lembo, a Geneva lawyer for Addax CEO
Zhang Yi, as saying: "My client vigorously contests the charges
against him. He plans to defend himself. For the rest, we will
not comment on the procedure under way."
There was no response from the company's press office to an
emailed inquiry and phone calls.
A lawyer for Addax confirmed to Reuters reports in the Swiss
daily Le Temps that the investigation was linked to activity in
Nigeria, but would not comment further.
(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay in Geneva and; Michael Shields
in Zurich; Editing by Alison Williams)