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A Paris court ruling has left French oil giant Total facing a claim for 170 billion dollars (131 billion euros) over a contract negotiated in Russia 20 years ago by a defunct subsidiary. No corporate entity has ever before faced a damages claim for such a huge and potentially devastating amount. Martine Orange reveals a Kafkaesque legal drama with a colourful cast that includes an entrepreneur and former F1 racing driver known as ‘Dédé the Sardine' and the late French novelist Françoise Sagan.
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