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12 Aug 2008

Mike Scarcella, Blog of Legal Times [USA]

Exxon Loses Bid to Shield Information From Federal Court Records

As part of a lawsuit against Exxon Mobil that alleges human rights violations, a federal judge is exposing information the oil giant wanted to keep secret. Eleven villagers from Aceh, Indonesia, are suing Exxon in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, claiming soldiers who were guarding Exxon facilities tortured and killed villagers in 2000... Attorneys for Exxon...urged a U.S. District Court judge to keep under seal Exxon correspondence...that generally addresses rising violence in Indonesia... The 18-page opinion, written by U.S. District Court Judge Louis Oberdorfer, was filed last month and unsealed, in its entirety, Monday. It says the case against Exxon can be heard in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Judge Oberdorfer’s opinion includes snippets of email correspondence between Exxon executives who discuss the "complete breakdown of law and order" in Indonesia.