Amsterdam district court has set aside 15 days to hear evidence about the few days oil tanker Probo Koala spent in Amsterdam before heading to Ivory Coast with a cargo of toxic waste.
Amsterdam based oil trader Trafigura, which owns the Probo Koala, waste processing company APS and Amsterdam city council are charged with breaking environmental laws in July 2006.
The Probo Koala moored in Amsterdam for cleaning but left after waste disposal experts questioned the contents of its tanks, officially described as ‘ship’s slops’ and Trafigura decided to look for a cheaper clean-up elsewhere.
Sludge which had been pumped out of the ship was pumped back in and officials allowed the Probo Koala to leave. The waste was eventually dumped in the Ivory Coast city of Abdijan.
In September 2009, Trafigura agreed to pay a maximum €33m in damages to 31,000 people from Ivory Coast who claim they were made ill by toxic waste from the Probo Koala.
The Ivory Coast claimants’ London-based lawyers agreed to the out-of-court settlement, saying Trafigura could not be held legally responsible for the health problems.
In 2007, Trafigura agreed to pay €152m to the Ivory Coast government to settle its claim and pay for the clean-up but denying liability.
For more on the Ivory Coast dumping, click here
For more on the trial, click here