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Shell to go on trial in New York over complicity in the execution of Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight others
| May 26, 2009
Royal Dutch Shell is to go on trial in New York today. Shell has been accused of complicity in the execution of aKen Saro-Wiwa and eight others in 1995. Ken Saro-Wiwa was a Nigerian activist who led criticism of exploitation by oil companies in Ogoni, his homeland. He was executed on November 10, 1995, . Two lawsuits accussed Shell and Brian Anderson, the former managing director of Shell Nigeria of complicity in the decision by the military government to hang the men. His son, Ken Saro-Wiwa Jr said "In a sense we already have a victory, because one of the things my father said was that Shell would one day have its day in court. "We felt they had ducked their responsibility for what happened in Nigeria, so we wanted to fulfil that prediction." The case is being seen as a test to determine if transnational companies owned or operating in the US can be held responsible for human rights abuses committed overseas.

(1) Comment


"The views and opinions expressed in these comment(s) or article(s) do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of NGEX, its partners or its affiliates."
Rick Morren    Amsterdam, The Netherlands    May 30, 2009
We sincerely hope this trial against Royal Dutch Shell takes place as planned without interference by "bribed" politicians and powerful business interest groups.

Unfortunately the power of multi-nationals, like Royal Dutch Shell, has grown over the years to a point where it has become unacceptable and even disgusting.

For many years now these unelected, unaccountable multinational corporations and their boards have grown beyond and above the control of democratically elected governments.

Presently the EU and supra-national institutions, such as the United Nations are the only structural entities able to enforce and uphold democratic principles against this abusive uncontrolled commercialism embodied in many multi-national corporations including Royal Dutch Shell.

Bigger business requires bigger multi-governmental legislative controls because unregulated commercial globalization undermines the ability of governments to rule within democratic parameters.

It is clear that inter-governmental accords, even if they also place restrictions on government abuses are required, in order to keep local and sovereign government a viable unit of national governance. Supra-national bodies must make it a priority to come together to bring unruly industries to account.

If this trial is held it will at least provide some framework in determining if multi-national companies owned or operating in the US or elswhere can be held responsible for human rights abuses committed overseas
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