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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (Post Courier) – Bougainville’s multi-million dollar lawsuit against mining giant Rio Tinto will go ahead in the United States.

But U.S. lawyers working on the class action case are still waiting on the Papua New Guinea Government's response after the Morauta-Ogio government tried to stop it from being heard in the United States last year.

Camillus Narokobi, a local lawyer representing the case says American Lawyers submitted appeal documents before a District court in California to have the case heard in the United States. This prompted the Bougainville lawyers working on the case to request Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare to make his stand on the Bougainville case known.

Attempts to get comments from the Attorney General's office and the Prime Minister were unsuccessful.

Narokobi said American lawyers Brent Walton and Nick Styant-Browne of Hagens Berman and Australian-based Slater and Gordon lawyers were confident of winning the appeal even if it ended up in the Supreme Court in the United States.

"The case is going ahead in America but the time of determination of the appeal is yet to be determined," said Narokobi.

December 12, 2002

For additional reports from The Post-Courier, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/The Post-Courier (Papua New Guinea).

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