Company executives could face international trial for environmental destruction

​The International Criminal Court has clarified that its remit includes land grabbing and environmental destruction, in a move hailed by campaigners as bringing an end to ‘the age of impunity’.

Company executives and politicians could now be held liable for crimes linked to land grabbing and environmental destruction, the court said yesterday, in a paper clarifying how it selected cases.

According to campaign organisation Global Witness, which has been calling for the ICC to take on such cases, more than three people a week in 2015 were murdered defending their land from theft and destructive industries, the deadliest year on record. 

Conflicts over mining were the biggest cause of killings, followed by agri-business, hydroelectric dams and logging, Global Witness said. 

‘Chasing communities off their land and trashing the environment has become an accepted way of doing business in many resource-rich, yet cash-poor countries,’ said executive director Gillian Caldwell.

Company bosses and politicians complicit in the violent seizure of land, razing of tropical forests or poisoning water sources could stand trial ...

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