FRENCH POLYNESIA NUKE VICTIMS HEAD TO COURT

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‘Historic case’ tries to link illness and a-bomb tests

PAPEETE, Tahiti (Tahitipresse, April 24, 2009) – Moruroa e Tatou, a Papeete-based association representing former French nuclear testing site workers, is getting ready for an "historic case" in the Papeete Court April 27.

For the first time ever, the Papeete Court will have to judge the cases of eight former Moruroa workers who claim their illness is due to nuclear testing and ask for financial compensation.

Out of the eight former workers, three are still alive and the five others will be represented by their widows, the association said.

Moruroa e Tatou said Justice should now be swift as witnesses of the 1966-1996 nuclear testing period in French Polynesia are now getting old.

In France, about 15 similar cases of former workers or military personnel serving in the French nuclear test sites in Algeria then in French Polynesia have already been judged.

The association wanted the trial to be filmed but the Justice Department turned down the proposal.

Moruroa e Tatou president Roland Oldham also said it was abnormal press accreditation for the trial was only to be delivered by the Justice Department in Paris.

This is only intended to make it even more difficult for foreign reporters to cover the trial, he claimed.

Oscar Temaru's party announced that it will support the former Moruroa workers who are about to go to Court, a press release states.

Tahitipresse: www.tahitipresse.pf

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