Thousands of people injured by poisonous waste
But UK’s Totalitarian State engineered by Labour Government suppresses free speech
Wickedly restrictive Libel Law used by Lawyers Carter Ruck to suppress toxic waste dumping makes UK World pariah
Released September 14, 2009
Summary Updated October 15, 2009:
The “Minton report” exposes a toxic waste dumping incident, which affected upto 108,000 people, according to a September 2009 United Nations report.
The UK media has been suppressed from mentioning the report or its contents since a secret gag order was issued against the Guardian newspaper on September 11, 2009. The report was commissioned through Waterson & Hicks, a UK law firm, possibly to claim client-attorney privilege should it leak.
The company concerned, Trafigura, is a giant multi-national oil and commodity trader. The Minton report assesses an incident involving Trafigura and the Ivory Coast town of Abidjan—possibly most culpable mass contamination incident since Bhopal.
The UK media is currently unable to mention the URL “http://wikileaks.org/wiki/Minton” or anything else that would direct people towards the report.
An attempt by a member of parliament to subvert the gag order, by mentioning “Minton report”, the date of the secret gag, and “Trafigura” in the House of Commons, lead to a major uproar on October 12 and 13, following an attempt by Trafigura to apply the gag order to parliamentary reporting (see this front page article in the Guardian newspaper).
The parliamentary quote concerned:
Paul Farrelly (Newcastle-under-Lyme) – To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of legislation to protect (a) whistleblowers and (b) press freedom following the injunctions obtained in the High Court by (i) Barclays and Freshfields solicitors on 19 March 2009 on the publication of internal Barclays reports documenting alleged tax avoidance schemes and (ii) Trafigura and Carter-Ruck solicitors on 11 September 2009 on the publication of the Minton report on the alleged dumping of toxic waste in the Ivory Coast, commissioned by Trafigura.
The UK press gag remains in effect. Incredibly, Trafigura’s lawyers, Carter Ruck, are now attempting again to prevent parliamentary debate over the gag, this time by claiming sub-judice.
Readers can help the victims and the press undermine this unconscionable gag order, by spreading the URL “http://wikileaks.org/wiki/Minton“.
The Minton report:
In the report an expert analyses the Probo Koala waste on behalf of Trafigura. The oil-trader has chosen not to disclose the content of the report to the public. The content of the report shows that the waste contained hydrogen sulphide (H2S) and a wide variety of toxic substances.
The expert writes that the waste in worst case can cause deaths. The analysis is done in September 2006, only a month after the Probo Koala delivered waste in the Ivory Coast, and a month before Trafigura sent the Probo Emu to Norway with identical waste.
Professor Emeritus in Chemistry, Jon Songstad is shocked by the Minton-report. –If this had exploded without burning, the whole village of Sløvåg could have turned into a gas-chamber.
After the tank-explosion in Western Norway in May 2007, people in the village became ill. They vomited, had severe headaches and chemically red sore throats.
Based on information from the Minton-report, Songstad is convinced that the fire in the tank saved the population. H2S burned in the fire, and prevented deadly concentrations of toxic fumes leaking out.
Sworn to silence
The British newspaper, The Guardian, has also obtained a copy of the Minton-report, but according to a High Court ruling have until today not been allowed to mention it, report on it or in any way disclose that they have the document.
The Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation received the High Court ruling and information about The Guardians situation directly from Trafigura’s Norwegian lawyers. The information and the ruling was sent to us in an attempt to stop us from publishing this report on our web pages.
Communication with Trafigura
Trafigura has not been willing to comment on the content of the report. But on September 15th they sent us this e-mail:
« As mentioned in our e-mail of yesterday, Trafigura finds it improper to answer questions to the media as long as the criminal charges in Norway are still under investigation by Økokrim. However, certain of the additional questions and statements in your e-mail of this morning are biased and can not be left unchallenged. Trafigura is in process of producing a written statement as a response to the questions raised by NRK. We will forward this statement to you during the course of business tomorrow, and kindly ask that you refrain from publishing anything before having had the opportunity to carefully examine the response from Trafigura.
Your questions of today do also reveal the fact that you are in possession of a draft, preliminary expert opinion produced by Minton Treharne & Davies Ltd, and that you appear to be ready to disclose information from this report. Trafigura looks very serious upon this, as disclosing any information from this report would be a clear breach of confidentiality and privilege. The report is clearly privileged and confidential and was obtained unlawfully by whoever is responsible for it coming into your possession.
Please be aware that on Friday of last week, our clients sought and obtained an injunction in relation to this document and information contained in it against the Guardian newspaper and Persons Unknown, pending a further hearing. For your attention we have attached hereto a copy of the Court Order.
In the circumstances, we kindly ask you to confirm that NRK will not disclose or make reference to this expert report or its contents. We might add (although it is not directly relevant to your obligation not to publish a document which has been obtained unlawfully) that the document was, as we say, draft and it is clear from its text that it was produced generically without reference to the underlying evidence. We can also assure you that its generic conclusions have long since been wholly superseded by the analyses of the Probo Koala slops by independent experts.»
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Trafigura charged in Norway
Oil-trader Trafigura is under police investigation in Norway, accused of illegal import of waste. The waste was brought to Norway on the Probo Emu in 2006, and is identical to the waste that Trafigura shipped to the Ivory Coast on the Probo Koala.
The Norwegian police have been investigating Trafigura for more than a year and a half, but so far nobody in the company has been willing to give statement or answer questions from the Norwegian police.
– We are surprised, and have the impression that Trafigura is not interested in assisting in the investigation, says Hans Tore Høviskeland, head of prosecution in Økokrim.
Well I am glad Norway isn’t letting Trafigura dictate, what can or cannot be reported.
Petition/E-mail the UK Government in Protest of Gag orders on the Press
UK: Press Banned from Reporting on Parliament/Trafigura
Tags: Abidjan, Bhopal, Carter Ruck, Commodity Traders, Extortion, Fraud, Government, Greed, Guardian Newspaper, House of Commons, Ivory Coast, Labour Party, Libel Laws, Minton Report, Murder, News, oil and commodity trading, Parliament, Paul Farrelly, Politics, Pollution, Toxic Waste, Trafigura, Waste Dumping, Whistelblowers