RealNews

Exxon: Torture Suit May Set Bad Precedent

ASIA: Exxon Mobil Corp. warned that a U.S. judge’s decision to allow villagers to file a lawsuit against the oil company for alleged abuses by Indonesian troops at Exxon Mobil facilities could set a precedent for all American companies operating abroad. But the Irving, Texas-based company has not yet decided whether it will appeal the ruling, spokeswoman Susan Reeves said Wednesday in a telephone interview. The International Labor Rights Fund filed a lawsuit in 2001 on behalf of 11 villagers who said Exxon’s Indonesian subsidiary allowed its facilities to be used by soldiers to torture locals and to commit other human rights abuses. The hearings were postponed in 2002 after the State Department said the lawsuit could harm American interests, but U.S. District Judge Louis Oberdorfer in Washington ruled last week the case could proceed. Full Story

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