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US court hears suit over Rio Tinto PNG mine

Mining giant Rio Tinto…tried to persuade an appeals court on Tuesday to dismiss a long running human rights lawsuit…The lawsuit, a proposed class action, involves Rio Tinto's operations on the island of Bougainville in…Papua New Guinea…According to the lawsuit, Rio Tinto decimated the island and forced its native workers to live in "slave like" conditions. When workers sabotaged the mine, Rio Tinto allegedly goaded the Papua New Guinea government into exacting bloody retribution against residents of Bougainville…In a hearing…Rio Tinto attorney Sri Srinivasan said the plaintiffs should have tried to bring their lawsuit in Papua New Guinea…Steve Berman, who represents the Rio Tinto plaintiffs [said] his clients could not have filed the lawsuit in Papua New Guinea because they left with bounties upon their heads.

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