PARIS (VNS) — Lawyers representing Vietnamese-French Agent
Orange victim Tran To Nga in a lawsuit against 26 US chemical companies
said the defendant continued to make irrational requests in order to
prolong the case.
Talking to Vietnam News Agency correspondents in Paris after
the latest working session with judges and defence lawyers at the Ervy
Court on Thursday, lawyers Amelie Lefebvre and Bertrand Repolt from the
Paris-based William Bourdon Forestier law firm said that the defendant's
lawyers once again asked for documents proving that Nga used to work at
dioxin-sprayed areas – such as working contracts, paycheck receipts and
evidence proving the linkage between herbicides and her diseases.
Repolt said those requests were unreasonable at this stage of the
trial, as hearings had not yet started. In addition, demanding proof of
payroll for hours worked 40 to 50 years ago was unrealistic.
Regarding the accuracy of translated documents, Lefebvre said that
the inaccurate translation of several words was unavoidable in hundreds,
or even thousands of pages of documents, but such mistakes cannot
render the entire documents incomprehensible.
The lawyers also said the plaintiff was expected to undergo new medical tests at a clinic appointed by the court.
At the meeting, the judge also announced that a deadline will be set
for US companies' representatives to respond to plaintiff lawyers'
conclusions in the lawsuits. The two parties' lawyers will meet again on
December 3 to discuss the timetable for hearing sessions.
In May 2014, Nga, born in 1942, filed a lawsuit against 26 US
chemical firms for producing chemical toxins sprayed by the US army
during the war in Viet Nam, causing serious harm to the community, her
children and herself.
The complaint and related documents were filed with the Crown Court of Evry in the suburbs of Paris.
Nga graduated from university in Ha Noi in 1966 and became a war
correspondent for the Liberation News Agency, now the Vietnam News
Agency. She worked in some of the most heavily AO/Dioxin-affected areas
in southern Viet Nam such as Cu Chi, Ben Cat and along the Ho Chi Minh
Trail, ultimately experiencing the effects of contamination herself.
Among her three children, the first died of heart defects and the second suffers from a blood disease.
In 2009, Nga, who has contracted a number of acute diseases, appeared
as a witness at the Court of Public Opinion in Paris, France against
the US chemical companies.
From 1961 to 1971, US troops sprayed more than 80 million litres of
herbicides – 44 million litres of which were AO, containing nearly 370kg
of dioxin – over southern Viet Nam.
Around 4.8 million Vietnamese were exposed to the toxic chemical.
Many of the victims have died, while millions of their descendants are
living with deformities and diseases as a direct result of the
chemical's effects. — VNS