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Environment/Natural Resources

[Published: Monday September 29 2008]

Ivorians accused of dumpingtoxic waste

Abidjan , 30 Sept-(ANA)- Twelvepeople have gone on trial in Ivory Coast accused of dumping toxic waste whichled to 17 deaths and 100,000 seeking medical treatment.

Some 500 tons of chemicalwaste from the oil industry were dumped two years ago in the biggest city, Abidjan.

Those on trial include thehead of a local company, Tommy, that signed the deal to treat the waste withthe Dutch multinational, Trafigura.

They are accused of chargesincluding poisoning and complicity to poison.

Also on trial are a number ofport and customs officials.

In an earlier out of courtsettlement, Trafigura agreed to pay the Ivorian government about $200m (108m)in one of the largest payments of its kind.

The company never admittedliability, saying the payment was made out of sympathy for Ivorian people.

It also disputes whether thechemical slops were the cause of the large number of medical complaints.

The firm says it contractedTommy to handle the waste in good faith. (ANA)

FA/ANA/30 September 2008---

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