Oil giant Shell has paid the family of Ken Saro-Wiwa £9.6 million ($15.5 m) to settle the case against them out of court. As we reported a couple of weeks ago, Shell were due to defend themselves against the charge that they were complicit in the framing and execution of Saro-Wiwa and eight other activists. The delayed case was due to begin today, but will not go ahead.
Campaigners are celebrating the end of a thirteen year struggle for justice, and claim that Shell have settled to avoid what would have been a certain case against them. Shell insist on their innocence.
The settlement, which is one of the largest in corporate history, will be put into trust for the Ogoni people, and cover legal fees.
“This was one of the first cases to charge a multinational corporation with human rights violations,” said lawyer Jennie Green, who began the case 12 years ago. “This settlement confirms that multinational corporations can no longer act with the impunity they once enjoyed.”