London’s High Court will on Wednesday hear allegations of dirty tricks in the biggest class action ever brought before the British courts.

It arises from the dumping of toxic waste three years ago in Ivory Coast’s largest city, Abidjan.

In the aftermath, up to 100,000 people fell sick and 16 died.

The waste belonged to a multi-national oil trading company, Trafigura. In the wake of the incident, 30,000 Abidjanis are suing them for damages.

Before the case can start, lawyers for the BBC and other media organisations are asking for certain evidence to be made public.

This deals with accusations that Trafigura’s lawyers have been implicated in attempts made by Trafigura in Abidjan to persuade key witnesses to change their statements.

The law firm representing the Abidjanis, Leigh Day and Co, allege a dirty tricks operation by Trafigura agents in Abidjan.

In March this year, pending a full hearing of those allegations, the High Court issued an injunction forbidding Trafigura representatives – including leading London law firm Macfarlanes – from contacting the claimants.



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