Indonesian Court Throws Out Case Against New York Times on ‘Buyat Bay Saga’

“An Indonesian court has thrown out a lawsuit brought by a mining executive against the New York Times over reports the firm dumped toxic waste into an Indonesian bay, lawyers said Thursday.

Richard Ness, an executive with US mining giant Newmont, sued the newspaper and one of its reporters for more than 64 million dollars for defamation over articles published in 2004.

The stories alleged Newmont polluted the bay with tonnes of waste from its now-defunct gold mine on the island of Sulawesi.

A three-judge panel said the Central Jakarta state court “does not have the authority to hear and judge this case,” according to Gani Djemat and Partners, the law firm representing the defendants…

The defence argued that the journalist was not an Indonesian national or a resident here, that The New York Times did not have a representative office in Indonesia and that it did not commit the alleged defamation in the country.

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There is a lot about the alleged pollution of Buyat Bay in the archives of this blog, click here and scroll down:

5 Responses to Indonesian Court Throws Out Case Against New York Times on ‘Buyat Bay Saga’

  1. Woody October 13, 2007 at 1:01 am #

    Well, they didn’t rule against the suit on its merits. Using their logic, however, no court in the world would have jurisdiction. But, the Indonesian courts saw no problem trying these people for criminal charges within their juridiction and using false claims from The NY Times as the foundation of the earlier charges.

  2. Schiller Thurkettle October 13, 2007 at 12:33 pm #

    Time to change the venue to a US court.

    This lawsuit must *not* go away.

  3. rog October 13, 2007 at 3:31 pm #

    I dont understand how an Indonesian court can rule on the NYT.

  4. Woody October 14, 2007 at 12:48 am #

    I’m not a lawyer by any stretch, but it would seem a possibility that The NY times would have a nexus in Indonesia and be under that country’s court jurisdiction if they are selling papers in that country.

    If someone printed thousands of flyers outside of the country calling for the assassination of Indonesia’s president and judges, but had someone else distribute them, do you think that the court would ignore it?

  5. rog October 14, 2007 at 6:40 pm #

    I think you would need some sort of reciprocal arrangement as to transfering the powers of the sovereign – in other words forget it.

    Best try the case in the US

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