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Total CEO Accused Of Kickbacks

The new chief executive of France's oil giant Total was detained by police

The new chief executive of France's oil giant Total, Christophe de Margerie, was detained by police, being suspected of for the second time in six months over alleged kickbacks in Middle East energy deals.

Judicial sources said de Margerie and two other serving executives, including Total's finance director, faced several hours of questions on an offshore gas deal with Iran.

Late on Wednesday evening, Total said the two executives detained with de Margerie had been released and named them as Chief Financial Officer Robert Castaigne and Philippe Boisseau, who oversees the group's gas and power business.

De Margerie, who ran Total's Middle East operations at the time of the 1997 Iranian deal, is already under investigation in a separate probe into UN sanctions-busting in Iraq.