The BBC is spineless, yet again.
The BBC report claimed that the toxic waste had caused deaths, something which the company has ferociously disputed, and it admitted no such liability when it settled with either the Ivory Coast government for $200 million or the 31,000 personally exposed to the waste, who were bought off for a pitiful £30 million. That there were deaths, contrary to Trafigura's claims, represented by the egregious Carter-Ruck, was supported by the investigation by the United Nations Special Rapporteur Prof. Okechukwu Ibeanu:
"On the basis of the above considerations and taking into account the immediate impact on public health and the proximity of some of the dumping sites to areas where affected populations reside, the Special Rapporteur considers that there seems to be strong prima facie evidence that the reported deaths and adverse health consequences are related to the dumping of the waste from the Probo Koala."
Supposedly terrified of the cost of defending the reporting, with the Guardian claiming that Carter-Fuck could at the end of the action leave the BBC with a bill for £3,000,000 (or half a Jonathan Ross), as well as the prospect of it being heard by Mr Justice Eady, the corporation caved in. Trafigura's director Eric de Turckheim meanwhile is still maintaining that the dumping of the waste was "a deplorable action which Trafigura did not and could not have foreseen", even after emails between company executives showed that they knew full well of the toxic nature of the slops they were seeking to get rid of and the specialist cleaning which was required.
Quite where this leaves the BBC's increasingly rare investigations is anyone's guess. What it does clearly do is further embolden Carter-Fuck, a law firm it seems which truly has no shame when it comes to those it chooses to represent. It failed to gag parliament and the Grauniad, but the BBC was an easier target. The question of just what the BBC increasingly is for also remains unanswered.
The original Newsnight report is still incidentally available on YouTube: