Dutch trial still possible for Trafigura director

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Trafigura director Claude Dauphin may yet stand trial after a ship his company chartered dumped waste that allegedly killed 17 people in the Ivory Coast, the Dutch Supreme Court said Tuesday.

"The appeals court in Amsterdam must judge anew whether (Dauphin) can be tried" for the 2006 incident, the court said in a written judgment, annulling an earlier decision of that court not to pursue him.

It found the Amsterdam court had erred in its reasoning when it upheld a challenge by Dauphin against his prosecution.

Trafigura, whose chartered ship the Probo Koala dumped the waste in Ivory Coast, is charged with breaking Dutch environment and waste export laws and faces a two-million-euro fine at its trial in the Netherlands.

Prosecutors accused Dauphin of having been in charge of the illegal export of waste to an African country.

The company, which denies any link between the waste and casualties and has an independent experts' report backing its stance, has reached out of court settlements in both the Ivory Coast and Britain.

But a United Nations report published last September found "strong" evidence blaming the waste for at least 15 deaths and several hospitalisations.

© 2010 AFP

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