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US Supreme Court will not hear defendant companies' appeal in apartheid reparations lawsuit

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12 May 2008

Court won't block US lawsuit by apartheid victims

Author: Mark Sherman, Associated Press

The Supreme Court said...that it can't intervene in an important dispute over the rights of apartheid victims to sue U.S. corporations in U.S. courts because four of the nine justices had to sit out the case over apparent conflicts…. The court's hands were tied by federal laws that require at least six justices to hear any case before them. Short of the required number by one, the court took the only path available to it and upheld an appeals court ruling allowing the suit to proceed…. The lawyers [for the South Africans bringing the complaint] said they plan to narrow their complaint, perhaps omitting some corporations and showing more clearly how the companies assisted the apartheid government. [refers to Bank of America, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Colgate-Palmolive, Credit Suisse, ExxonMobil, HP, IBM, Isuzu, Nestle]

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Author: Agence France-Presse

La Cour suprême des États-Unis a avalisé lundi la recevabilité d'une série de plaintes réclamant plusieurs milliards de dollars à une cinquantaine de multinationales accusées d'avoir aidé le gouvernement sud-africain pendant la période de l'apartheid... [La] Cour...précise que le quorum n'a pas été atteint dans ce cas, quatre des neuf juges s'étant récusés en raison de possibles conflits d'intérêt avec les entreprises incriminées... La procédure vise une cinquantaine de sociétés dont Shell, Citigroup, Barclays, Coca-Cola, Colgate-Palmolive, Dow Chemical, Exxon Mobil, Ford, Fujitsu...IBM...

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