Anderson - untouchable, unrepentant and living a life of luxury
Tuesday 08 June 2010
When Greenpeace tracked down Warren Anderson to his luxury home in the Hamptons, outside New York, the former Union Carbide boss was hosing gravel from his car after a trip to a country club.
The environmental group had been hunting him to hand over a symbolic copy of a warrant for his arrest – but the confrontation brought a day in court no closer.
This was in 2002, and while Indian employees of Union Carbide were yesterday convicted over the Bhopal disaster, Mr Anderson continues to live the "normal retired life" of the American chief executive.
"Warren Anderson is not dodging due process," his attorney William Krohley told The Independent eight years ago. "He leads a normal retired life. He has places in Florida and New York where he resides. He plays golf every day, he socialises with people."
In the aftermath of Bhopal, Mr Anderson accepted "moral responsibility" for the accident but was shocked to find himself arrested. US diplomatic pressure led to his being bailed, and although he agreed to co-operate with the Indian judicial process, he has never returned to the country, his extradition has never been vigorously pursued, and the trial of local executives was allowed to proceed separately.
Furious residents and environmental campaigners believe that the Indian government has put commercial relations with the US above the task of seeking justice.
Mr Anderson has always denied legal responsibility and said that a $470m settlement with the Indian government in 1989 was the end of the matter, yet his name continues to conjure anger and disgust, and will inevitably do so again when a movie of the disaster is released later this year. He is to be played by Martin Sheen – unsympathetic, unrepentant.
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