ORIGINAL STORY: CORPORATE CRIME REPORTER
October 10, 2005
Diane Wilson is facing four months of jail in Texas. But Diane now says that she’s not going to jail until Warren Andersen, the former CEO of Union Carbide, is extradited to face manslaughter charges in Bhopal, India.
“I’m going to go on the lam,” Wilson told Corporate Crime Reporter today. “I realize I have to go to jail. I’m quite willing to do that. But Warren Andersen – who jumped bail 13 years ago – needs to go to jail too. I’m going to stay out to expose the inequality – corporate executives don’t go to jail for high crimes and little citizens go to jail for misdemeanors.”
In August 2002, Wilson scaled a Dow Chemical facility in Seadrift, Texas and unfurled a banner that read – “Dow Responsible for Bhopal.” When she came down, she was arrested and charged with criminal trespass.
In January 2003, Wilson was convicted of that charge and sentenced to four months in prison and fined $2,000. An appellate court affirmed her conviction earlier this month. She is out on a $1,500 bond.
Andersen was CEO of Union Carbide on December 3, 1984 when a deadly gas leak from Union Carbide’s pesticide factory in Bhopal, India poisoned at least 500,000 people. More than 8,000 people died within three days and over 20,000 people have died to date as a result of their exposure.
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Anderson was charged with culpable homicide by prosecutors in Bhopal. He reportedly lives in Bridgehampton, New York.
Midland, Michigan-based Dow Chemical purchased Union Carbide Corporation (UCC) in February 2001 in the full knowledge that Union Carbide was still facing outstanding criminal charges of culpable homicide in Bhopal.
Both Andersen and Union Carbide have refused for the past 15 years to appear before the court in Bhopal to face the charges.
Wilson is scheduled to be a keynote speaker at the Bioneers Conference on October 14, 2005 in San Rafael, California.
Wilson lives in Seadrift, Texas. She said she has no immediate plans to return home. She is currently on a nationwide tour promoting her book – An Unreasonable Woman: The True Story of Shrimpers, Politicos, Polluters and the Fight for Seadrift, Texas (Chelsea Green, 2005).
Shannon Salyer, the assistant district attorney in Calhoun County, Texas would not comment on the case. Salyer said that Dan Heard, the district attorney, won’t be back in the office until the end of the week.