A court seeking justice for millions of Vietnamese Agent Orange/dioxin victims opened in the outlying French city of Evry on April 16, a case lodged by French-Vietnamese Tran To Nga who spent 5 years collecting legal and scientific evidence for the process.
Nga, 73, became a war correspondent of the Liberation News Agency after graduating from a Hanoi university in 1966. She worked in some of the most heavily AO/dioxin-contaminated areas in southern Vietnam such as Cu Chi, Ben Cat and along the Ho Chi Minh Trail, ultimately experiencing the effects of contamination.
Among her three children, the first child died of heart defects while the second suffered from a blood disease.
In 2009, Nga, who contracted a number of acute diseases, appeared as a witness at the Court of Public Opinion in Paris, France against US chemical companies.
Last May, she and the Paris-based William Bourdon & Forestier law firm filed a lawsuit against 26 US chemical firms for producing chemical toxins sprayed by the US army in the war in Vietnam, causing serious consequences for the community, her and her children.
The complaint and related documents were handed over to the Crown Court of Evry city in the suburb of Paris and the 26 US companies, 12 of which later hired lawyers.
During the first day, judges of the Crown Court of Evry questioned the 24 defence lawyers.
In France, a number of talks and film screenings about the harmful effects of AO on Vietnamese people and environment are currently taking place.