MAC: Mines and Communities

US lawsuit on Bougainville still on

Published by MAC on 2002-12-11

US lawsuit on Bougainville still on

Source: Post Courier, Papua New Guinea

December 11 2002

Bougainville’s multi-million dollar lawsuit against mining giant Rio Tinto will go ahead in the United States.

But US lawyers working on the class action case are still waiting on the Papua New Guinea Government’s response after the Morauta-Ogio government tried to stop it from being heard in America last year.

And lawyer representing the case locally Camillus Narokobi, who returned from a recent trip to America, told the Post-Courier US lawyers Hagens Berman, working on the Bougainville-Rio Tinto case, had already submitted appeal documents before a District court in California at the beginning of last month to have the case heard in the United States.

Bougainville leaders and lawyers working on the case have requested Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare to make his stand on the Bougainville-Rio Tinto case known.

Attempts to get comments from the Attorney General’s office and the Prime Minister were unsuccessful.

Mr Narokobi said American lawyers Brent Walton and Nick Styant-Browne of Hagens Berman and Australian-based Slater and Gordon lawyers were confident of winning the appeal even if it ended up in the Supreme Court in America.

“The case is going ahead in America but the time of determination of the appeal is yet to be determined,” Mr Narokobi said.

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