May It Please The Court

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May It Please The Court
by Leonard Rivkin
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Quote of the Day - This is the devilish thing about foreign affairs: they are foreign and will not always conform to our whim. - James Reston
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Indonesia Hangs Fate of Corporate Employee and Its Own Reputation In Balance

MIPTC brought you the news before, and here's an update. The American who heads Newmont Mining Company's Indonesian operation, Richard Ness, was charged criminally in Indonesia with violating pollution laws.

The trial should start in two weeks, and Mr. Ness faces up to 15 years in jail. Other employees were dismissed previously, including an Australian. At least one opinion lays blame at the doorstep of the New York Times as a somewhat prosecutor instead of a news reporter.

There's no lack of local coverage (need Indonesian translator) of the events. The case hasn't lacked for attention by the U.S. Embassy, either. Seems everyone has an opinion.

The dispute is much bigger than the not-so-simple-alleged act of dumping toxins into Buyat Bay. It has to do with sovereignty, pressure from American media, local environmentalists, diplomats and conflicting evidence. The WHO and other studies appear to clear Newmont. The government tests contradict those results.

With trial in two weeks, we'll find out soon enough. It's been a long saga already.

The world is watching.

Posted by J. Craig Williams on Monday, July 11, 2005 at 20:24 Comments (0)


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