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10 Feb 2014

Carey L. Biron, MintPress News (USA)

Court Case Halted for Nepalis Killed While Working for US Military Contractor [USA/Iraq]

A federal judge in Texas has...halted a...court battle brought by the families of 12 Nepalis killed while working for a U.S. military contractor in Iraq in 2004. The families...ask[ed] the courts to allow them to sue Kellogg, Brown & Root, the former subsidiary of the oil services company Halliburton...Judge Keith Ellison had said he would allow the case to go forward, ruling that it appeared to include genuine allegations of “forced labor or trafficking.” But last month,...[t]he judge stated...that a central piece of anti-trafficking legislation, passed in 2008, could not be retroactively applied to a crime that took place outside of the U.S. The decision has been viewed as a major victory for KBR, with the firm’s lawyer proclaiming that the judge “did get this right.” Other legal scholars disagree...with Ellison’s interpretation of a contentious recent U.S. Supreme Court decision weakening corporate liability outside of U.S. territory...