(AGI) Milan, Oct 2 - Eni and its former CEO Paolo Scaroni wereacquitted by Milanese judge Alessandra Clemente on Friday aftera preliminary hearing on the case involving alleged bribes paidby Saipem in Algeria. Scaroni was accused of internationalcorruption and Eni of being in breach of Italy's 2001 law oncorporate responsibility for crimes committed by employees.Seven defendants and Eni's subsidiary Saipem SpA, also accusedof breaking the same law, were instead ordered to stand trialby judge Clemente. Their trial will begin on December 2 beforethe Court of Milan's fourth penal section. Alongside Scaroniand Eni, the judge also acquitted Antonio Vella, Eni's formerchief for North Africa, while a nonsuit based on a lack ofjurisdiction was declared for another defendant. Prosecutorsare accusing Saipem of doling out a massive bribe of almost 198million euros to Algerian officials in order to win contracts."Eni is pleased to learn that the judge for the preliminaryhearing of the Court of Milan has decided to dismiss the caseagainst Eni SpA and members of its management for the allegedbribery case relating to Saipem's activities in Algeria," Enisaid in a press statement. "Eni has provided full cooperationto the judiciary and has always declared the noninvolvement ofthe company and its managers, which emerged from the results ofsome internal verifications carried out by third parties andwas confirmed by today's ruling," it emphasised. "We're happy,we were certain of his innocence," Scaroni's lawyers Enrico DeCastiglione and Alberto Moro Visconti affirmed. In its ownstatement on Friday, Saipem informed that "the Judge of thePreliminary Hearing in Milan today upheld the applicationsubmitted in February 2015 by the Milan Public Prosecutor'soffice for committal for trial against, among others, SaipemSpA and a number of former employees of the company, for actsof corruption alleged to have taken place in Algeria up untilthe beginning of 2010." "Saipem acknowledges the Judge'sdecision and is confident that it will be able to demonstratethat there are no grounds for the company to be held liableunder Italian Legislative Decree 231/2001 at the first instancetrial, which is due to start in December 2015," it commented.(AGI). .