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Moerdijk explosion: Shell outraged at phone tapping by Dutch Public Prosecution Service

Shell is outraged that government services have tapped telephone calls from employees. These are employees of Shell itself and subsidiary Shell Chemie Nederland. This eavesdropping operation led by the Public Prosecution Service (OM) took place during the internal investigation by Shell employees into the causes of a major explosion… The OM accuses Shell Chemie Nederland of knowingly putting people’s lives in danger…

Printed below is an English translation of an article published today by the Dutch FT, Financieele Dagblad.

Shell angry about eavesdropping in relation

to Moerdijk explosion

Vasco van der Boon

Shell is outraged that government services have tapped telephone calls from employees. These are employees of Shell itself and subsidiary Shell Chemie Nederland.

This eavesdropping operation led by the Public Prosecution Service (OM) took place during the internal investigation by Shell employees into the causes of a major explosion. This took place on 3 June 2014 at the chemical complex of Shell Moerdijk.

Maximum fine

Shell’s annoyance about this eavesdropping operation was expressed on Thursday in the criminal case that the OM has brought against the group. The OM accuses Shell Chemie Nederland of knowingly putting people in danger of life and knowingly breaking the environmental rules.

Last Tuesday, the OM demanded the maximum possible fine of € 2.68 million against Shell in this criminal case. Not only for the explosion in Moerdijk, but also for months of gas leakage at Shell Moerdijk. Nauta Dutilh lawyers asked the court on Thursday for acquittal for the most serious accusations. According to the defense, other lighter suspicions of the OM are time-barred.

Many employees tapped

Shell’s lawyers argued Thursday that nobody had any idea of ​​a possible cause of the explosion. Shell has always cooperated in investigations into the explosion, including that of the OM and the Dutch Safety Board. Shell says it has shared internal investigation data with restraint with the authorities.

Given that willingness, it is hard for Shell to have employees tapped, said the lawyers at the oil company. That information came to light because it was included in the criminal file. “Despite the openness of Shell Chemie Nederland, it has been” rewarded “with distrust, suspicion and unqualified views.”

The defense referred to the prosecutor in this case, Ingeborg Koopmans. Before the court could consider the allegations against Shell, it and two other authors wrote about it in a scientific journal. They came to the conclusion that Shell was culpably culpable guilty of the explosion of the Moerdijk installation. The Shell lawyers found ‘shocking’ and ‘unheard of’.

The article in question was in the Journal of Loss Prevention in the Process Industry. The officer’s co-authors wrote that the negligence of Shell Moerdijk “almost exceeds the comprehension”. According to the Public Prosecution Service, no people were killed during the explosion in Moerdijk. Two were injured. Large fragments of the exploded installation were hurled away hundreds of meters.

According to the Shell lawyers, the impact of the explosion on itself was ‘huge’, also financially and measured by reputation damage. ‘Shell Chemie Nederland does not complain about this. It is about the unjustified contribution that the public prosecutor made to that. ” The defense strongly denies that Shell deliberately took the risk of an explosion.

OM clashes with court

After the four-hour defense plea, the officer refused to respond on Thursday. She found that the court granted her too little response time. She suggested bias of the judges. “They don’t take the PPS seriously,” the officer said during the subsequent suspension. The chairperson of the court calls this accusation of the OM “downright regrettable.” The court expects to give a ruling on 7 June.

SOURCE

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