French oil and gas company Total and the Dutch oil group Vitol have been fined for corruption linked to the UN oil-for-food programme.

A French court ordered Total to pay €750,000 ($825,000), while Vitol was fined €300,000.

The UN programme ran from 1996 until the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 and allowed the country to sell oil in exchange for humanitarian goods.

Total was accused of corrupting foriegn officials, bypassing a UN escrow account and making extra payments to the Iraqi government through company suppliers.

After the ruling, Total released a statement saying the company and its legal counsel are reviewing what its next steps will be.

Total has five days to decide if it will launch an appeal.

Vitol released a statement that said: “Vitol continues to deny that it is guilty of the corruption charges brought in France and will be appealing the court of appeal’s decision to the French supreme court.”

In 2005, a review of the oil-for-food programme alleged that more than 2,000 companies paid a total of $1.8bn in illicit payments as part of the scheme.