Greenpeace says it
has tracked down a former chairman of Union Carbide who faces homicide charges
in India over the 1984 Bhopal gas disaster that killed thousands.
Calling on both India and the United States to begin formal extradition proceedings immediately, Greenpeace Toxics Campaigner Casey Harrell said Friday he had found Warren Anderson living in the upscale Hamptons resort district in Long Island, New York.
Anderson has been the subject of an 11-year-old Indian arrest warrant for culpable homicide, but his extradition from the United States has never been sought -- partly because the Indian authorities said his address was unknown.
"If Greenpeace can track down India's most wanted, I find it hard to believe that nobody else could have done it," said Harrell, who confronted Anderson at his home two weeks ago and taped the meeting with a hidden video camera.
"At first he tried to deny who he was and then he ran into the house," Harrell said, adding that he had handed Anderson a copy of the Indian arrest warrant.
A court in Bhopal Wednesday rejected an application by India's Central Bureau of Investigation to have the charges against Anderson reduced to negligence.
Anderson, 80, retired from Union Carbide, which is now owned by Michigan-based Dow Chemicals, in 1986.
Some 3,000 people died and more than half a million people were seriously injured December 3, 1984 when a cloud of lethal gas was released into the air from Union Carbide's Bhopal facility in central India.
At least another 10,000 deaths have been linked to the disaster, according to victims' groups.
"Groups like Greenpeace are going to play a positive role in pushing this sighting to the next level where we demand that both governments act," Harrell said, adding that the delay in seeking Anderson's extradition was due to India's fear that it might scare off foreign investors.
"It is amazing that these people (Bhopal victims) have not been able to get any justice or even a fair trial for the man who ran the company that has killed tens of thousands of people," Harrell said.
"We need to push India and the United States to do the right thing and get some closure. After all, it's been almost 18 years."
Copyright 2002 AFP