The public prosecution department does not have to prosecute oil trader Trafigura for dumping toxic waste in Ivory Coast in 2006, the appeal court in The Hague ruled on Wednesday.
The department had earlier decided not to take the company to court for dumping, but environmental group Greenpeace took legal action to try to force a prosecution.
The company was prosecuted for transporting the waste from the Netherlands and was fined €1m last year.
Trafigura says it handed the waste over to a local disposal company in good faith and that that firm is to blame for the dumping. The company also denies the waste was damaging to health.
Greenpeace said in a statement the decision means Trafigura will not have to take responsibility for endangering ‘man and the environment in Africa.’
‘This case shows how multinationals go unpunished for serious environmental crimes,’ said spokeswoman Marietta Harjono.
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