Lawyer Bertrand Repolt from the Paris-based William “Bourdon & Forestier” law firm which is representing Vietnamese French Tran To Nga in a lawsuit against 26 US chemical companies for producing dioxin-containing Agent Orange sprayed by the US army during the war in Vietnam, expressed his belief in the success of the case based on its convincing arguments.

Nga’s lawyers are scheduled to have a working session with the court of the French Evry city on June 18 on the lawsuit.

Talking to the Vietnam News Agency correspondents in France before the session, Repolt said the lawyers defending Nga have the necessary scientific and technical evidence to support their arguments in court.

He noted that the lawyers have certain evidence showing that the US companies were aware of the level of danger of their defoliants when they supplied the products to the US army, which means they must bear responsibility for their acts.

Nga’s status as an AO/dioxin victim and French national allows the lawyers to sue US chemical firms through the French court to seek a legal decision not only for Nga but for millions of Vietnamese AO victims, he said.

The key of the lawsuit is to have the French court recognise the existence of the cause-effect relationship between the exposure to AO sprayed by the US army and diseases and defects that Vietnamese living in affected areas have suffered as a result, he added.

He continued to say the lawyers are deeply aware that the lawsuit is seeking justice for millions of Vietnamese people who are suffering from the genetic defects through generations.

The lawyers confirmed their resolve to continue fighting for justice, though the Vietnamese AO victims’ lawsuits have been repeatedly rejected in the US.

According to Repolt, the reason behind the failure of the lawsuits in the US has more to do with litigation processes and legal foundations than with scientific evidence.

The fact that the US Government has provided compensation for US war veterans proves the cause-effect relationship between the exposure to AO/dioxin and subsequent diseases, he explained.

However, he noted that difficulties still remain, since the lawsuit relates to many countries. Furthermore, which country’s law could be applied to the case during the trial process is a problem as well, he said.

He added that lawyer William Bourdon and his colleagues will prepare arguments proposing the application of French law.

Repolt affirmed that the case is likely to be lengthy due to its complexity and the involvement of many countries. Time is needed to review the dossiers and thoroughly debate all related issues, he said.

The most important trial, with the participation of all parties involved, would not be taking place before 2016, he said.

Born in 1942, Tran To Nga worked as a war correspondent for the Liberation News Agency, now Vietnam News Agency, during the fiercest period of the war. In 1966 and several years later, she lived in areas worst hit by the herbicide spray, including Cu Chi, Binh Long and along the Ho Chi Minh Trail. She later gave birth to three children, the eldest of which died of a heart disorder and the second one inherited Alpha Thalassemie (a blood disease) from her.

Nga herself suffers from numerous diseases as a consequence of her exposure to AO/dioxin, many of which have been recognised by the US government as associated with the toxic chemical.-VNA