Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

BUSINESS DAILY

Jack Ma, the man behind Alibaba's record stock market debut

Read more

DEBATE

If Scotland Says 'Aye': Polls Say Indpendence Referendum Too Close to Call

Read more

DEBATE

If Scotland Says 'Aye': Polls Say Independence Referendum Too Close to Call (part 2)

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

France watches as Scotland votes

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Scottish referendum in the media

Read more

WEB NEWS

Young Iranians use illegal technology to bypass internet censorship

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Homosexuality in Africa: Kenyan movie debuts at Toronto Film Festival

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Ebola virus: US to send 3,000 troops to West Africa

Read more

THE BUSINESS INTERVIEW

Inger Andersen, Vice President for the Middle East and North Africa, The World Bank

Read more

France

Prosecutors seek maximum fine for Total in 1999 'Erika' oil spill

Text by FRANCE 24 (with wires)

Latest update : 2009-11-10

Prosecutors on Tuesday repeated a request that Total be ordered to pay the maximum fine for polluting as the oil giant appeals a January 2007 decision for a massive fuel spill along the coast of Brittany in 1999.

Prosecutors on Tuesday repeated a request that Total SA be ordered to pay the maximum fine for polluting as the oil giant appeals a 375,000 euro fine levied in a January 2007 decision for a massive fuel spill along the coast of Brittany in 1999.

A French court had fined Total 375,000 euros for maritime pollution and almost 200 million euros in damages, most of which would be paid to French regional governments and environmental groups, including Greenpeace. The plaintiffs include several local authorities affected by the disaster and many of those involved in the extensive cleanup operations that followed the disaster.

In a legal first, the judgment cited “ecological prejudice” in awarding compensation to those who took part in rescuing some 150,000 oil-covered birds.

On a 1999 voyage bound for Livorno in Italy, the Erika oil tanker left Dunkirk, France on December 8 with a cargo of some 20,000 tons of fuel oil. After hitting inclement weather and heavy seas in the Bay of Biscay, the Erika broke in half and sank, releasing its crude cargo into the sea, coating 400 km of the Brittany coast with oil and killing thousands of birds as well as marine life.

Fifteen companies and individual defendants were charged with negligence in connection with the disaster. Six of them, including Total SA, two of its subsidiaries, the ship’s owner and the Italian shipping registry that declared the Erika seaworthy, have filed appeals.

The ship’s captain and rescue workers were found not guilty of wrongdoing during the first trial.

Total’s appeal opened today in Paris and is scheduled to run until November 18.
 

Date created : 2009-11-10

COMMENT(S)