Briefing: Exxon faces lawsuit on killings in Indonesia

Bloomberg / Associated Press | January 17, 2007

CHICAGO: Exxon faces lawsuit on killings in Indonesia

Exxon Mobil, the world's largest oil company, must face a lawsuit that claims Indonesian soldiers guarding a natural gas processing plant in Aceh province tortured and killed local residents, the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington ruled Wednesday.

The court upheld a lower court's denial of Exxon Mobil's request to throw out the case, arguing that the case raises political questions outside the jurisdiction of U.S. courts.

The suit, filed in 2001 by 11 Indonesians, claims the soldiers were under Exxon Mobil's direction and control, making the company liable. The suit seeks unspecified monetary compensation and a court order prohibiting the abuses.(Bloomberg)

Swissair board member takes his turn in court

BÜLACH, Switzerland: Andres Leuenberger, a leading figure in Switzerland's corporate world, said that he deeply regretted being unable to avert the damage caused to many people by the financial collapse of Swissair, but that as a member of the managerial board he was innocent of any wrongdoing.

Leuenberger, taking his turn on the second day of the trial of the former airline's entire managerial board, read a statement rejecting charges that he had made false statements about the business.(AP)

Credit Suisse Group and other banks being sued over the collapse of Enron said that a request by investors to drop the estate of Kenneth Lay, the former chairman, from the case would improperly let the "truly guilty" off free. The banks claim that lawyers for the University of California Regents, the lead plaintiff in a securities fraud class action in Houston federal court, are leaving "potentially hundreds of millions of dollars on the table" by seeking to drop the case against Lay's estate. Lay died last year.(Bloomberg)

Russian prosecutors detained the former head of a unit of Yukos Oil, Sergei Shimkevich, for alleged embezzlement and money laundering as they prepared new charges against Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the jailed former chief of Yukos. (Bloomberg)

Virgin America, a startup airline vying for clearance to begin U.S. flights, changed agreements with its minority owner, Richard Branson's Virgin Group, in an effort to meet U.S. ownership requirements. Virgin Group will cede veto authority over some decisions and put voting shares of the carrier under a U.S. trustee. (Bloomberg)

Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs of the European Union said there would be "no exceptions" for France or any other country that was opposed to separating utility generation and distribution when the EU opened power markets to full competition by July.(Bloomberg)

The Swedish central bank will start publishing interest rate forecasts to increase transparency, said Deputy Governor Irma Rosenberg.(Bloomberg)