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Sierra Leone abuse claimants lose UK court case

Sierra Leoneans seeking damages from a mining company they accused of complicity in a police crackdown voiced disappointment…after losing a landmark legal case [against Tonkolili Iron Ore Ltd] in a British court…

“The legal team is now reviewing the judge’s findings and will be advising the clients in early January as to the prospects of appealing the judge’s findings,” [law firm Leigh Day said in a statement]…

British courts agreed to hear the lawsuit because the…producer was previously a subsidiary of African Minerals Ltd (AML), which was headquartered in London before it went into administration in 2015.

The case was particularly unusual as the judge, Mark Turner, conducted some court sessions in Sierra Leone itself to hear evidence of the alleged abuses.

But the ruling…found that “the claimants have not succeeded in establishing liability in respect of any of the basis upon which they have sought to bring their claims”…

Lawyers for the claimants had alleged that the company effectively oversaw policing of its mine and surrounding areas where protests turned deadly in two incidents in 2010 and 2012…

Tonkolili Iron Ore Ltd, which is now a subsidiary of China-based Shandong Iron and Steel Group Co. Ltd, denied liability for the incidents…

Part of the following stories

Tonkolili Iron Ore lawsuit (re complicity in violence against villagers in Sierra Leone)

UK court rejects African Minerals’ liability over accusation of complicity in violent repression of protests in Sierra Leone