UPDATE 16 Feb@-06.24: I mean the 2nd word in the title to be pronounced (r-fyz) and not (rfys). See here for more information.
Earlier today I posted that Trafigura had not sent me the two requested documents which they themselves said were available on request.
I have posted several times in the past few weeks about my attempts to get Trafigura to send me copies of two documents, each of which Trafigura says is available on request.
The documents are the WSP environmental audit report carried out in and around Abidjan and the Trafigura Reply in the BBC Libel case. The Reply is available through the High Court but that is 400 miles away from my base in Edinburgh.
These documents might be available to some but not to me.
Trafigura has refused to release these documents not that they have said as much: they have said nothing other than,
“Dear Mr Carr,
Thank you for your enquiries, we will provide a response in due course.
Trafigura Press Office”
which was their email reply sent on 29 January @ 07.39.
Since then nothing despite my sending them four more emails the last two of which stated that, should they not respond positively by midday today (Monday 15 February), I would conclude that they had refused and I would state publicly that they had refused to release the documents.
Through their inaction Trafigura has refused.
Clearly Trafigura is unconcerned that I would say,
“Trafigura has refused to send me copies of two documents:
- the WSP environmental audit report carried out in and around Abidjan
- the Trafigura Reply in the BBC Libel case
each of which they state is available on request”
Had the documents been ones which might embarrass Trafigura I could understand their not releasing them although I would not have agreed with the decision. These documents cannot embarrass Trafigura: they must support their public position because, if Trafigura had any concerns, they would never have said that the documents were available, surely.
Why, therefore, has Trafigura acted as it has?
I have no idea but I can hazard a few guesses but the truth can only come from Trafigura.
Guess 1 Trafigura had no intention of releasing the documents to anyone but this makes no sense. Why state, and continue to state, that they are available? I have seen no mention of anyone having read and written about the WSP report or the Trafigura Reply but perhaps I have missed this.
Guess 2 There is material which could embarrass Trafigura but this makes no sense either. Why state, and continue to state, that they are available?
Guess 3 The material is available to some but not to me. This doesn’t make much sense but perhaps I’m too small or seen as too negative towards them.
Guess 4 Trafigura is lacking the appropriate management skills, as alleged by Kieran Looney, but this makes no sense. My request is so simple that very little skill of any sort is required to comply with my wishes. Trafigura’s public relations company, Bell-Pottinger is aware of my requests but yet their advice is either not to release or is being ignored. I guess it is possible that Bell-Pottinger had no advice.
Nothing makes sense! Only Trafigura knows.
I haven’t said yet why I wanted to read these two papers.
My reasoning is explained in one of my early emails to Trafigura,
‘I note from your company's Probo Koala Update, dated 19 September 2009, "Trafigura commissioned WSP, a leading international environmental consultancy, to undertake an independent environmental audit around the Abidjan area. WSP’s report (copies of which are available on request) ......." I would appreciate your sending me an electronic copy of the report to the email address herein.
I have recently taken a interest in the various Trafigura stories in the media and I blogged recently "In a case as serious as the Abidjan “incident” I believe it important to read as much on both sides of the argument. It is far too easy to be intellectually lazy and read, and therefore agree with, only the one side.’
My email continues,
“I would hope that you look favourably on my request but that, should be unable to accede, you will let me know.
Separately I have spoken to Neil Cameron at Bell-Pottinger about getting a copy of Trafigura's Reply in the recent BBC libel case. I am aware that this public document is available through the High Court but for those of us who live several hundred miles away this route is expensive in terms of both time and money. I hope also that you can accede to my request for this document too.”
I still want to read these two documents.
I hope Trafigura changes its decision but ….
I have contacted other journalists who have written about Trafigura asking if they or their papers have either or both but this is, I believe, a forlorn hope. Had these newspapers had access to the documents they would either have written about them or made them available or both.
Perhaps a visitor to this blog has the documents or knows someone who has. If so, please let me know.
I am considering my next steps but, almost certainly, I will be asking for your support in some form. If you have any suggestions about how to continue my quest please email me at:
I will post again once I have decided what are my next steps.
In the interim, anyone interested in my exchanges with Bell-Pottinger and Trafigura can read copies of all emails and my notes of telephone conversations here.
I have never tried to make a file available on the web so please let me know if there is any problem with this link.
I am confused!
But am I am not defeated.