Napag Trading Limited Napag Trading Limited and its CEO, Francesco Mazzagatti, have issued proceedings for libel in the English courts against two leading Italian publications, L’Espresso and Il Fatto Quotidiano , in relation to articles published in October and November 2019.
They are seeking the payment of damages, the removal of the online publications and the publication of corrections and apologies for a series of highly defamatory articles about Napag Trading Limited and its CEO of Francesco Mazzagatti including personal attacks on his family. Commenting on the instruction of leading London libel practice Carter-Ruck, Mr Mazzagatti said: “We were very patient with the papers. We sent them detailed rebuttals that showed the many errors in their reporting. Il Fatto Quotidiano failed to respond or print a correction . L’Espresso accepted a partial correction but then repeated the allegations and extended the coverage in Further articles. “
The articles published by L’Espresso and Il Fatto Quotidiano included false allegations that Napag concluded transactions involving oil cargoes originating from sanctioned countries as well as illegal transactions with Italian company ENI. Some of the articles also falsely alleged that Napag Trading Limited was being used and managed by lawyer Piero Amara. Napag Trading Limited and Mr Mazzagatti are in fact the collateral victims of an ongoing legal battle currently taking place within Italian energy giant ENI, the outcome of which could determine whether the current CEO will keep his post.
L’Espresso andIl Fatto Quotidiano have unjustifiably drawn Napag Trading Limited and Mr Mazzagatti into this dispute because of the company’s links with Mr Amara, whose services were retained to advise and assist on the contracts they were concluding, including with ENI. Napag Trading Limited had chosen to instruct Mr Amara for his expertise in the industry, given that he had previously acted for ENI and various other oil and gas companies. However, Mr Amara has since been convicted of bribing judges. He has also become involved in a dispute with ENI in relation to instructions allegedly given to him by the company in the context of important criminal proceedings in which he acted as the defense lawyer for the energy giant.
Napag Trading Limited and Mr Mazzagatti effectively got caught in the crossfire between ENI, which is currently deciding on a second term for its current chief executive, Piero Amara, and the Milan prosecutors investigating these corruption scandals.
Napag Trading Limited and Mr Mazzagatti were left with no option other than to issue proceedings for libel. These proceedings will be conducted in the English courts given that Napag Trading Limited is a company incorporated in England and Wales, which conducts the great majority of its business in the country whose capital is the global center of the oil and gas industry.
Mr Mazzagatti commented: “We really had no choice. Napag Trading Limited has always respected the applicable laws and regulations in the deals it has done with its counterparts, including with ENI and its subsidiaries. “