Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. Earth Science News .

Subscribe free to our newsletters via your

Defence lawyers threaten to stop Ivory Coast pollution trial

A total of 12 people have been charged with involvement in the 2006 toxic waste scandal which killed 17 Ivorians and poisoned thousands. Photo courtesy AFP.
by Staff Writers
Abidjan (AFP) Oct 9, 2008
The trial of nine people accused over the dumping of toxic waste off Ivory Coast's main city, killing 17 people, faced collapse Thursday as the defence threatened a permanent boycott alleging bias.

Speaking at a press conference, defence lawyers refused to participate in the trial unless the judge grants a delay in the evidence of a key witness.

Lawyers for five of the nine defendants said the testimony of N'Zi Kablan, the head of Puma Energy, a subsidiary of Dutch company Trafigura, which shipped in the waste, was crucial for "the truth to come out."

On Wednesday the judge suspended the trial until October 13 when the lawyers walked out in protest after he refused to grant a delay to call witnesses from the two companies.

According to Ivory Coast law, a trial cannot take place if defendants are not represented by a lawyer.

"This position is not negotiable. We do not want to be complicit in a biased form of justice," said lawyer Charles Kignima, adding that the defendants "are prepared to stay in prison without trial" until Kablan appears in court.

"It is an abuse of justice in our country. It was the moment for judges in Ivory Coast to raise their heads, to restore Ivory Coast's image," he added.

Meanwhile the president of the bar in Abidjan, Claude Mentenon, called the lawyer's dissatisfaction "legitimate", adding that he was taking the case to the appeals court to find a compromise.

A total of 12 people have been charged with involvement in the 2006 toxic waste scandal which killed 17 Ivorians and poisoned thousands.

Nine of the 12 face a raft of charges including poisoning, complicity to poison and breaking environmental and public safety laws.

The incidents date from August 2006 when truck tankers hired by Salomon Ugborugbo, the director general of Ivorian company Tommy, dumped more than 500 cubic metres of waste "slops" from the Panamanian-registered cargo ship, the Probo Koala, at public sites across Abidjan.

The so-called slops were in fact a mix of petroleum residues, sulphur and caustic soda which had accumulated in the ship.

Exposure to the waste caused respiratory difficulties, nausea and other medical problems among the local population, prompting entire neighbourhoods to evacuate.

The accused face life imprisonment if convicted.

Email This Article
Comment On This Article

Share This Article With Planet Earth DiggDigg RedditReddit
YahooMyWebYahooMyWeb GoogleGoogle FacebookFacebook

Related Links
Our Polluted World and Cleaning It Up

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Defendant in Ivorian toxic waste trial blames Trafigura affiliate
Abidjan (AFP) Oct 1, 2008
The leading defendant in a key toxic waste trial Wednesday said he was misled by an affiliate of the Dutch multinational that brought the poisonous liquid to Ivory Coast in 2006.

  • Disasters kill more in 2008 than in tsunami: UN
  • Portable Imaging System Will Help Disaster Response
  • Algerian troops start flood clear-up operation
  • Haiti's hurricane death toll more than doubles to 793

  • EU must alter CO2 policy due to global financial crisis: Poland
  • EU MPs' climate package vote brings little joy for industry
  • Aerosols From Sahara Useful For Study Of Climate Change
  • Emissions Rising Faster This Decade Than Last

  • 2008 Ozone Hole Larger Than Last Year
  • Smog Blog For Central America And Caribbean Debuts
  • Infoterra Enhances Capability With Acquisition Of Imass
  • Students And Astronauts Use Powerful New Tool To Explore Earth From Space

  • Ethiopia signs deal for largest wind farm in Africa
  • Ethanol Buzz Fuels Planning By Colonial Pipeline Company
  • Horizon Wind Energy Inaugurates 13th Wind Farm In The USA
  • Thermoelectric Materials Could Boost Energy Efficiency

  • Analysis: Flu pandemic would overwhelm
  • Two people die of rare form of plague in Tibet: report
  • AIDS virus leapt the species barrier early last century: study
  • Climate change: Floods, drought, mosquito disease aim at Europe

  • Wayward penguins in northern Brazil ship out to Patagonia
  • Climate change poised to devastate penguins: WWF
  • Extinction By Asteroid A Rarity
  • Wildlife, already struggling, faces fresh threat in disease

  • Defence lawyers threaten to stop Ivory Coast pollution trial
  • Defendant in Ivorian toxic waste trial blames Trafigura affiliate
  • Pollution trial opens in Ivory Coast
  • Beijing announces steps to fight smog, traffic

  • Eight of China's 10 oldest people are ethnic minorities: report
  • First-Ever Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria
  • Egalitarian Revolution In The Pleistocene
  • New Formula Predicts How People Will Migrate In Coming Decades

  • The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2007 - SpaceDaily.AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement