- Trafigura must be acquitted of the charge of forgery, because it should not have agreed to proceed to the treatment of the slops at the price proposed by APS, according to the Presiding Judge F. Bauduin.
- Trafigura's employee, Mr Naeem Ahmed, has been acquitted of one charge but convicted for leading the operations resulting in the dumping of waste "while its dangerous nature was concealed." He was condemned to a six-month suspended sentence and a 25,000 Euros fine.
- The Ukrainian captain of the Probo Koala was also condemned to a suspended prisen term of five-months.
Trafigura is currently considering whether it should appeal the Court's decision.
As pointed out by NGOs, the High Court Decision sanctions the "increasing industrialisation on the high seas." "Waste produced on board a vessel after an industrial process - in this case refining - should be rteated in the same way as industrial waste produced on land, and not under an exempt status of waste which derives from the normal operations of a vessel." (Ibid.)
The decision, being the only sanction pronounced against Trafigura, also points out the relevance of the EU rules on export of waste in direction of developing countries as an important safety net, in particular in the present case for corporate activities that occured outside the EU territory and where international rules against private actors might face some shortcomings.
The extent to which The Netherlands are responsible as regards the correct transposition of the EU rules will be examined by the European Court of Justice, which is competent on this matter. Two NGOs (Robin des Bois and Sherpa) have logged a complaint before the European Commission in April 2010 against The Netherlands and Estonia for a possible lack of or bad transposition. To be followed.
Note: Since the judgement is only available in Dutch for the moment, this note is based on translated information, not the original decision.