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Côte d'Ivoire: Court rejects attempt by alleged "representative" of Trafigura toxic waste victims to claim compensation funds

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10 November 2009

Côte d’Ivoire toxic waste dump victims reflect on "small victory"

Author: Amnesty International

Victims of the 2006 toxic waste dumping scandal in Côte d’Ivoire told Amnesty International on Monday that a ruling protecting their compensation was a "small victory"."What happened on Friday was a small victory but we still haven’t had what is due to us," warned Genevieve Diallo, a victims' representative from the dumpsite area in Akouedo, Abidjan. "Now the justice system needs to do its work so that each and every one of us receives our compensation money. People are waiting impatiently for their money."...“The priority should be for the payment process to resume so that each claimant receives the money that they are owed. We will be keeping a close eye on what happens next," said Benedetta Lacey, a special advisor at Amnesty International

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6 November 2009

Ivorian joy at Trafigura ruling

Author: BBC News

A court in the Ivory Coast has ruled that compensation due to thousands of victims of dumped waste should not be paid to one man to distribute…Trafigura had agreed to pay $45m (£27m) to 30,000 victims in an out-of-court settlement. Claude Gohourou argued he should be given responsibility for the money, but there were doubts he would pass it on. However, despite the ruling the money remains blocked and victims cannot yet gain access to their compensation…[The court] declared its verdict after an hour, saying that Mr Gohourou's organization…had no legal right to freeze the accounts because the association had only just been set up.

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6 November 2009

Toxic waste claimants relieved as Abidjan court refuses transfer of funds

Author: Leigh Day & Co.

This afternoon, the President (Antoine Ble) of the Tribunal of First Instance in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, gave his judgment that the compensation fund for the 30,000 claimants who alleged they were victims of the 2006 toxic waste dumping in Abidjan from the Trafigura ship, the Probo Koala should remain in the client account of their lawyers, Leigh Day & Co. The Court specifically decided that the money should not be transferred to the account of Claude Gohourou, who had claimed that his association, the National Coordination of Toxic Waste Victims of Cote d’Ivoire (CNVDT-CI) represented all 30,000 Claimants and should have received the money on their behalf.

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