UK Liberty

Trafigura and Carter-Ruck again

Posted in freedom of speech by ukliberty on December 16, 2009

hat-tip Carl Gardner (and via Iain Dale):

BBC Newsnight’s “Dirty tricks and toxic waste in Ivory Coast”, 15min video, 13 May 2009

Summary

The flash video file presents a BBC Newsnight report on the toxic-waste dumping of commodities giant Trafigura. According to a September 2009 UN report, the dumping drove 108,000 people in the Ivory Coast to seek medical attention.

It has recently been removed from the BBC websites, along with an article on the matter.

Trafigura and their lawyers Carter Ruck had been pursuing an ongoing libel case against the BBC over a news story from on the case that aired in May 2009[1].

In the story “Dirty Tricks and Toxic Waste in the Ivory Coast”, the BBC’s Newsnight programme stated:

“It is the biggest toxic dumping scandal of the 21st century, the type of environmental vandalism that international treaties are supposed to prevent. Now Newsnight can reveal the truth about the waste that was illegally tipped on Ivory Coast’s biggest city, Abidjan”.

The programme alleged that a number of deaths had been caused by the dumping of this toxic waste, which had originated with Trafigura.

Until this week the story was still available on the BBC website.[2]

The link stopped working some time on December 10th or 11th, but at the time of writing the Google cache is still available[3].

Trafigura and Carter Ruck have become notorious for their willingness to use the UK’s repressive media laws to suppress legitimate criticism and comment. A number of other UK media have already been bullied into censoring stories about this case, but until now the BBC had stood firm. Unfortunately it appears that even the UK’s world-renowned public service broadcaster has now been muzzled by a rich corporation seeking to use the law to cover up the truth about its activities.

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