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US: Justices Turn Down Appeal by Exxon

June 17th, 2008

WASHINGTON (Reuters) — The Supreme Court declined on Monday to hear an appeal by Exxon Mobil seeking to dismiss a lawsuit by 11 Indonesian villagers.

The Indonesians claim the company’s security forces committed human rights abuses at a natural gas processing plant in Aceh Province.

The justices, following the recommendation of the federal government, turned down the company’s appeal without comment.

The lawsuit was filed in 2001 in federal court in Washington. In 2007 a federal appeals court upheld a district court judge’s refusal to dismiss the entire lawsuit. It rejected the company’s arguments that the case raised political questions outside the jurisdiction of United States courts.

Exxon’s appeal to the Supreme Court involved whether the district court’s denial could be immediately appealed. The justices’ rejection of the appeal allows the lawsuit to go forward.

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