liberian timber: Dutch timber merchant Guus van Kouwenhoven has been sentenced to eight years in prison for breaking a UN arms embargo on Liberia. The International Court Of Justice in Hague found him guilty of selling weapons to former Liberian president Charles Taylor in return for timber rights (see 'A despot's log', Down To Earth, June 15, 2006). But the court acquitted him of charges of atrocities by private militias formed by his two timber companies, in the 14-year civil war. Prosecutors had demanded a 20-year prison sentence and a fine of US $575,000 but the court found insufficient evidence.
hazardous settlement: A 16-year litigation against two hazardous waste facilities in Amelia, Los Angeles, recently ended with two settlements worth US $15 million for the clean-up. The US Environmental Protection Agency and the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality had filed a complaint in 1990 against the illegal operation of hazardous waste treatment, storage, and disposal facilities of Marine Shale Processors Inc and Recycling Park Inc. The companies will pay US $6.2 million as penalties.
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