Trafigura and Macfarlanes deny bribing witnesses in toxic waste court case, threaten legal action against Dutch media
Response to Volkskrant allegations, published on Scribd.com
Macfarlanes and Trafigura deny any involvement, whether direct or indirect, in what you describe as “bribery and influencing of witnesses”.
Not only would such conduct be grossly unethical, it would have been illegal and it would certainly have constituted serious professional misconduct by Macfarlanes. The suggestion that this firm or one of its partners would involve itself in such misconduct is as absurd as it is defamatory.
Furthermore, for reasons we touch on below, even if Macfarlanes or Trafigura had been willing to misconduct ourselves in this way (which we were not), it would have been completely illogical and counter-productive for us to have done so given the circumstances of these events.
We note that you acknowledge that these allegations are extremely serious. We trust, therefore, that if you consider yourself to be a responsible journalist, rather than pursuing a pre-meditated agenda against Trafigura, you will consider your position very carefully before publishing allegations about Macfarlanes which are indeed very serious, malicious, gravely defamatory, false and completely inconsistent with the previous course of conduct between the parties.
You state in your email that these are similar to allegations made last year. For the record, those allegations were also wholly without foundation. Indeed, they were formally withdrawn by the Claimants and their solicitors, Leigh Day & Co, in the Abidjan Personal Injury Group Litigation proceedings in September 2009.
Given your misapprehension of the true position and the fact that, regrettably, certain individuals have chosen to provide you with dishonest and malicious allegations, it is important that we address your questions.
It is equally important that you carefully consider our responses and weigh up how much reliance, if any, can be placed upon these false and malicious allegations.
In the event that you still decide to publish these allegations, we require you to ensure that you include our response to each allegation at the point in which it appears in the article.
You will appreciate that, given the seriousness and falsity of what you are seeking to allege, Macfarlanes and/or Trafigura will have no alternative but to commence legal proceedings without further notice if your story does not comply fully with the basic principles of truth, balanced reporting and responsible journalism.
Greenpeace accuses Trafigura
The environmental organisation accuses the multinational of having influenced witnesses.
In the Netherlands, Greenpeace has filed a complaint with the public prosecution against the multinational Trafigura, accusing the latter of having influenced witnesses and also of forgery.
According to the environmental organisation, a group of drivers reported to be Ivoirian would have agreed with Trafigura not to report being ill as a result of transporting toxic waste for the multinational.
A spokesman for Greenpeace has confirmed that information which had been disclosed by Dutch television and the center-left daily De Volkskrant.
According to the Ivorian justice, dumping of toxic waste in Abidjan in August 2006, by the cargo Probo Koala, chartered by Trafigura from Amsterdam, had killed 17 people and poisoned thousands.