French firm chief ready to testify before panel
by Vaiju Naravane, The Hindu
5 January 2006 (Paris) – Jean-Claude Giannino, president of Technopure that carried out the first phase of asbestos removal from the French aircraft carrier, George Clemenceau, says he is willing to testify before the Indian Supreme Court's Monitoring Committee on Hazardous Waste.
The panel is meeting in Mumbai on Friday.
"I have a valid passport, a visa and I, with my colleague Mr. Eric Baudon, who speaks excellent English, am ready to leave for India tonight carrying all the necessary documents," he told The Hindu on Wednesday.
"Given the importance of the matter," he would not mind bearing his expenses for the trip. He would be willing to show the committee documents detailing asbestos aboard the Clemenceau.
Mr. Giannino said that contrary to the claims made by French authorities and by the SDIC, the private company that contracted to acquire the ship, there was over 200 tonnes of asbestos, and not just 45 tonnes, on board. He dismissed as false the government's claim that it had removed all asbestos as was possible to remove without damaging the ship's structure.
Efforts by The Hindu to obtain the government's response to these accusations have been unsuccessful.
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