Did ExxonMobil Pay Torturers?
In June 2001, John Doe III and 10 other civilian neighbors of ExxonMobil's Arun natural gas facility filed a lawsuit against ExxonMobil in federal district court in Washington, DC. In John Doe v. ExxonMobil, the villagers charge the company with complicity in torture, arbitrary detention, and extrajudicial killings allegedly committed by Indonesian soldiers it hired to provide security. ExxonMobil has steadfastly maintained its innocence in the case. "We have fought the baseless claims for many years," said ExxonMobil spokesman David Eglinton… But in a 2008 ruling, federal district court judge Louis Oberdorfer ordered Exxon to face trial… The fate of the ExxonMobil case now rests in the hands of the US Supreme Court. On October 1, the court heard arguments in a similar…case, Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum (Shell)—and it's that case that may determine whether the Acehnese villagers ever get their day in federal court.