Investigation into Total reopened

2nd October 2007, Comments 0 comments

2 October 2007, BRUSSELS- The federal public prosecution department has reopened an investigation into possible crimes against humanity committed by French oil giant Total in Myanmar. At the end of this month a decision will be made on whether to actually go to trial.

2 October 2007

BRUSSELS- The federal public prosecution department has reopened an investigation into possible crimes against humanity committed by French oil giant Total in Myanmar. At the end of this month a decision will be made on whether to actually go to trial.

The case was put before the court in 2002 by a group of refugees from Myanmar. In 2005 the Court of Arbitration declared the case admissible, but the Supreme Court rejected the case because it was not submitted by Belgian citizens. The Belgian nationality was a requirement in 2003 for bringing such a case to court. One of the plaintiffs, Aung Maw Zin, has obtained Belgian nationality in the meantime.

At the time the complaint was lodged against Total, CEO at the time Thierry Desmarest and the former director of activities in Myanmar, Hervé Madeo. They were accused of cooperating with forced labour and torture during the construction of the Yadana pipeline.

Lawyer Alexis Deswaef, who is representing the refugees, says that the complaint contains "clear evidence that Total is an accomplice, not only morally and financially, but also by accepting logistical and military help for the construction of the pipeline."

[Copyright Expatica News 2007]

Subject: Belgian news

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