Make India Asbestos Free

Make India Asbestos Free
For Asbestos Free India

Ban Asbestos Network of India (BANI) works for Asbestos Free India since 2002. Occupational Health India and ToxicsWatch Alliance are its members that includes occupational health doctors, researchers and activists. BANI demands criminal liability for companies and medico-legal remedy for victims. It works with trade unions, human rights, environmental and public health groups. For Details:krishna1715@gmail.com, oshindia@yahoo.in, toxicswatchallaince@gmail.com

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

French Leader Charged with Manslaughter, Under Investigation for Asbestos Related Deaths

Below is an article in English, French Leader Charged with Manslaughter, Under Investigation for Asbestos Related Deaths, and below that is an article on the same topic that appeared in the Quebec La Presse newspaper. The La Presse article also referred to the possibility of taking legal action against Canadian officials. Kathleen Ruff's translation of that part:
(Paris) While Quebec is putting an end to the mining of asbestos, the French court questioned the use of this product, that was permitted by the public authorities to be used in the country until 1997. The exercise could lead to the indictment of several former officials suspected of having neglected the health warnings, says our reporter.............................
The judicial developments taking place in France and Italy are inspiring Canadian activists opposed to asbestos, like Kathleen Ruff, who does not exclude seeing the possibility of seeing Canadian officials one day brought before the courts.

The Quebec and federal governments, together with industrial asbestos, minimized the hazards posed by the use of the product, she says, and should be held accountable in this regard.

"Nothing will change if people are not held accountable for what they did," said the activist, joined Vancouver.
 
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French Leader Charged with Manslaughter, Under Investigation for Asbestos Related Deaths
Expatica, 07/11/2012
Former French leader Martine Aubry has been charged with manslaughter and is under investigation for failing to protect industrial workers from asbestos. According to the article, “Aubry was accused of having helped to delay the implementation in France of a 1983 European Union directive designed to strengthen the protection of workers dealing with asbestos.” Aubry denied the charges and allegations against her, stating it is a “profound insult to who I am and the professional and political choices I have made throughout my life.” Staff Report, Expatica 11/07/2012
Martine Aubry, the former leader of France's governing Socialist Party, has been charged with manslaughter in a probe into whether state negligence contributed to thousands of deaths caused by asbestos exposure.
The charges against Aubry relate to her time as a senior official in the ministry of social affairs, before she became a major figure in French politics.
As the ministry's director of industrial relations from 1984-87, Aubry is accused of having helped to delay the implementation in France of a 1983 European Union directive designed to strengthen the protection of workers dealing with asbestos.
The examining magistrate in the case believes Aubry bowed to pressure from industrialists lobbying against a complete ban on the use of the material and that she ignored warnings from French health authorities of a mushrooming epidemic of cancers and terminal lung diseases.
Aubry has strongly denied all the charges, describing them as a "profound insult to who I am and the professional and political choices I have made throughout my life."
Aubry, the daughter of former European Commission President Jacques Delors, has found herself caught up in a far-reaching probe into how the French authorities handled the emerging evidence of the dangers posed by asbestos between 1970 and 1997, when the material was finally banned.
The specific charges against her relate to the case of workers employed at the Fereo-Valeo auto-components factory in Normandy. Asbestos was once widely used for car brake pads.
An estimated 3,000 people currently die prematurely every year in France as a result of asbestos poisoning and there have been pessimistic predictions that the death rate could nearly treble over the next decade because of exposure in the 70s and 80s.
Lawyers for Aubry, who was formally charged in the early hours of Wednesday following a marathon session with the magistrate, were expected to lodge a request for the charges to be dropped later in the day.
France: après le sang contaminé, l'amiante?
La juge d'instruction Odile Bertella-Geoffroy souhaite mettre en... (Photo : Kenzo Tribouillard, AFP)
La juge d'instruction Odile Bertella-Geoffroy souhaite mettre en examen pour «homicides involontaires» l'ex-première secrétaire du Parti socialiste Martine Aubry.
Photo : Kenzo Tribouillard, AFP
Marc Thibodeau  La Presse, le 03 novembre 2012
(Paris) Tandis que le Québec met le holà sur la production d'amiante, la justice française s'interroge sur l'utilisation de ce produit, permise par les autorités publiques sur le territoire national jusqu'en 1997. L'exercice pourrait mener à la mise en accusation de plusieurs anciens hauts responsables soupçonnés d'avoir négligé les mises en garde sanitaires, relate notre journaliste.
Le dossier de l'amiante débouchera-t-il en France sur l'inculpation de plusieurs hauts responsables de l'État comme l'a fait le scandale du sang contaminé?
Le scénario, que les associations de victimes de l'amiante appellent de leurs voeux depuis longtemps, pourrait se concrétiser prochainement après des années d'enquête et risque de toucher au moins une personnalité politique connue.
La juge d'instruction chargée du dossier, Odile Bertella-Geoffroy, souhaite notamment mettre en examen pour «homicides involontaires» l'ex-première secrétaire du Parti socialiste Martine Aubry, pour son rôle comme directrice des relations du travail au ministère du Travail, dans les années 80.
Selon le quotidien Le Figaro, Mme Aubry se voit notamment reprocher d'avoir transposé trop tardivement une circulaire européenne de 1983 destinée à réduire l'empoussièrement dans les usines.
La politicienne a été convoquée en octobre par la magistrate, mais a évoqué un problème d'horaire pour reporter la rencontre, qui doit avoir lieu mardi prochain.
Cette semaine, ses avocats ont fait savoir qu'ils entendaient présenter des requêtes en nullité pour contester toutes les mises en examen «qui ont été ou qui pourraient être prononcées» contre elle. D'autres anciens hauts fonctionnaires des ministères du Travail et de la Santé entendent en faire autant.
Les avocats se sont dits «stupéfaits de voir que ceux qui ont consacré la plus grande partie de leur vie à protéger les droits de nos concitoyens soient mis en examen ou susceptibles de l'être, et non entendus comme témoins».
L'Association nationale de défense des victimes de l'amiante (Andeva) se félicite pour sa part des derniers développements dans ce dossier.
«Après 16 ans d'instruction, il serait temps qu'en France, les pouvoirs publics fassent enfin preuve de leur détermination à voir tous les responsables de cette catastrophe rendre des comptes à la justice», relève l'organisation.
Marc Hindry, administrateur d'Andeva, note que la justice française a longtemps traîné les pieds. L'affaire a d'abord été confiée, dit-il, à des magistrats surchargés ou peu intéressés par les questions de santé publique avant d'être prise en charge par Mme Bertella-Geoffroy au sein d'un pôle d'enquête consacré à ce type de question.
Les difficultés multiples qu'elle a dû surmonter pour faire avancer l'enquête témoignent, selon lui, du fait qu'il n'y a «au minimum aucune volonté» sur le plan politique de la voir réussir.
Pas de volonté politique
«Dans un pays où l'on fait une enquête dès qu'il y a un mort sur la route, il est quand même bizarre de constater qu'il n'y a pas de volonté de la part des autorités de faire la lumière sur une affaire qui a fait entre 40 000 et 50 000 morts», dit-il.
M. Hindry, qui enseigne à l'Université Jussieu, établissement où plusieurs personnes ont été victimes d'une forte exposition à l'amiante, ne s'attendait pas à ce que l'enquête mène à une mise en cause de Martine Aubry, mais il ne s'en étonne pas.
L'ancienne haute responsable a joué un rôle important dans la mise sur pied d'un fonds d'indemnisation pour les victimes de l'amiante. Elle était néanmoins en poste, dit-il, à un moment-clé dans les années 80 où la France ne faisait «rien» pendant que plusieurs autres pays s'inquiétaient du produit.
«Il est tout à fait normal que la juge veuille l'entendre pour comprendre pourquoi les autorités n'ont rien fait», souligne M. Hindry, qui espère voir un procès ciblant des responsables publiques se concrétiser d'ici «deux ou trois ans».
L'enquête cible aussi une demi-douzaine d'anciens membres du Comité permanent amiante, un comité mixte qui a tout fait dans les années 80, au dire d'Andeva, pour prolonger l'utilisation du produit malgré les risques.
Les militants de l'organisation se disent encouragés par la condamnation cette année, en Italie, de deux hauts responsables d'une firme, Eternit, qui produisait de l'amiante-ciment. Des peines de prison de 16 ans fermes leur ont été imposées pour la mort «volontaire» de 3000 personnes indûment exposées à l'amiante.
Les développements juridiques en cours en France et en Italie inspirent les militants canadiens opposés à l'amiante comme Kathleen Ruff, qui n'exclut pas de voir de hauts responsables canadiens amenés un jour devant les tribunaux.
Les gouvernements québécois et fédéral, de concert avec les industriels de l'amiante, ont minimisé, selon elle, les risques posés par l'usage du produit et devraient rendre des comptes à ce sujet.
«Rien ne va changer si les gens ne sont pas tenus responsables de ce qu'ils ont fait», affirme la militante, jointe à Vancouver.
Kathleen Ruff
9:28 AM (54 minutes ago)

to list
Martine Aubry, the former leader of France’s governing Socialist Party, has been charged with manslaughter in a probe into whether state negligence contributed to thousands of deaths caused by asbestos exposure.
The charges against Aubry relate to her time as a senior official in the ministry of social affairs, before she became a major figure in French politics.
As the ministry’s director of industrial relations from 1984-87, Aubry is accused of having helped to delay the implementation in France of a 1983 European Union directive designed to strengthen the protection of workers dealing with asbestos.
The examining magistrate in the case believes Aubry bowed to pressure from industrialists lobbying against a complete ban on the use of the material and that she ignored warnings from French health authorities of a mushrooming epidemic of cancers and terminal lung diseases.
Aubry has strongly denied all the charges, describing them as a “profound insult to who I am and the professional and political choices I have made throughout my life.”
Aubry, the daughter of former European Commission President Jacques Delors, has found herself caught up in a far-reaching probe into how the French authorities handled the emerging evidence of the dangers posed by asbestos between 1970 and 1997, when the material was finally banned.
The specific charges against her relate to the case of workers employed at the Fereo-Valeo auto-components factory in Normandy. Asbestos was once widely used for car brake pads.
An estimated 3,000 people currently die prematurely every year in France as a result of asbestos poisoning and there have been pessimistic predictions that the death rate could nearly treble over the next decade because of exposure in the 70s and 80s.
Lawyers for Aubry, who was formally charged in the early hours of Wednesday following a marathon session with the magistrate, were expected to lodge a request for the charges to be dropped later in the day.
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An article on the same topic in the Quebec La Presse newspaper also raised the possibility of taking legal action against Canadian officials.
Translation:
While Quebec is putting an end to the mining of asbestos, the French court questioned the use of this product, that was permitted by the public authorities to be used in the country until 1997. The exercise could lead to the indictment of several former officials suspected of having neglected the health warnings, says our reporter ……..

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