Warren Anderson, ex CEO Union Carbide, Dies – Whilst Officially Absconding from Indian Criminal Justice for Role in Bhopal Disaster.
Warren Anderson, CEO of Union Carbide Corporation at the time of 1984 Bhopal Disaster has died, aged 92, in a Florida nursing home.
Although his death was not announced it has been confirmed, from public records, that he died on the 29th September. Speculation is mounting that the death was unannounced so as not to draw attention to the Bhopal Disaster issue in light of its impending 30th anniversary on 2/3 December this year.
Mr. Anderson was still wanted on criminal charges of ‘culpable homicide not amounting to murder’ at the time of his death.
In an interview with The New York Times five months after the tragedy, Mr. Anderson spoke of his feelings:
“You wake up in the morning thinking, can it have occurred?” he said. “And then you know it has and you know it’s something you’re going to have to struggle with for a long time.”
Mr. Anderson was praised for his courage in going to Bhopal four days after the accident, where he was immediately arrested. But after quickly paying bail, he never returned to face trial. Despite his bail conditions requiring him to do so.
The Indian government made multiple requests to extradite him, and officially labeled him a fugitive. A judge there called him an “absconder.”
The Union Carbide Corporation remains wanted on the same charges.
The Dow Chemical Company took over Union Carbide in 2001 but Dow refuses to present Union Carbide to the Indian courts. On November 12th Dow Chemical must answer a summons to the Chief Judicial Magistrates Court to explain why it won’t present Union Carbide.
Warren Anderson will not now face any criminal charges
Tim Edwards, Bhopal Medical Appeal said:
“Any death is sad news, and this is no exception. However, Mr. Anderson’s death has also gone some way to deny hundreds of thousands of Bhopal survivors the truth and reconciliation that should have been their right through processes of law and justice.
“It’s clear that U.S. authorities, in particular, have played a central role in protecting Mr. Anderson. We join demands that every effort is now made to bring Union Carbide Corporation – which, like Mr. Anderson, is on the run from charges of culpable homicide – to face trial for its role in the deaths of 25,000 innocent people, and the maiming of over half a million more.”
1. There exists ample evidence implicating Anderson in decision making and oversight concerning the conditions at the factory in Bhopal that led to the disaster. Anderson directly approved and ratified the double standards in design, safety and operations by which Carbide imposed inferior and inherently dangerous conditions in Bhopal compared to those it chose to install at its Institute, West Virginia factory.
These differences in design, along with savage cutbacks overseen by a U.S. management Task Force, are the reasons that on Dec 3, 1984 there was no immediate detection of a problem, when the problem became apparent it couldn’t be found, when it was found it couldn’t be contained and when the gas leaked it couldn’t be neutralised.
A UCC “Safety Loss Manual” which proves that Anderson had to review and ensure proper safety procedures in Bhopal following deaths and other serious incidents is available on request.
2. U.S. authorities played a central role in preventing Anderson from facing trial. Reagan intervened on Dec 6, 1984; Kissinger in ’85; U.S. State and Justice Depts. involved in foot dragging in 1987-9; from 2003 on India’s extradition requests were intimately discussed with a variety of special interest business groups and individuals. Lawyers for Union Carbide and Dow received emails concerning the 2004 U.S. rejection of this request some time before the Indian government. U.S. authorities had been sitting on the final request for the last 3.5 years. By way of contrast, at the height of the U.S. pursuit of Edward Snowden the U.S. was outraged when Hong Kong – with whom it doesn’t share an extradition treaty – didn’t act on an extradition request within nine days.
3. Indian authorities were highly complicit in enabling Anderson to complete his escape from justice. MP State authorities and Rajiv Gandhi’s govt. conspired to unlawfully release Anderson from non-bailable charges in 1984; Indian govt. and the Supreme Court agreed to compound criminal charges in the 1989 settlement; Indian ministries deliberately delayed extradition proceedings throughout the 1990’s, and instructed the CBI not to pursue the foreign accused; only a high profile hunger strike and a parliamentary rebuke forced the 1st extradition request; India has done nothing to force the U.S. to expedite later requests.
4. Critically, UCC is fugitive from the same charges as Anderson, whose death should now see every effort brought to ensure its trial as soon as possible.