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Indonesia to meet Churchill Mining`s lawsuit challenge

28th June 2012 | 2.870 Views
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has called for a thorough preparation while dealing with Churchill Mining`s lawsuit, saying Indonesia must win in the legal dispute.

"I hope we win because I do not want MNCs (multi-national companies) to be able to do anything they like using their international powers to suppress developing countries such as Indonesia," he said at the opening of a cabinet meeting here on Thursday.

The President, who has taken a hard stance on the case, further said, "So long as we believe we are right, we, in this case -- the district heads of Kutai Timur, are obligated to defend dignity, truth and justice. This is the principle. I will see the details of the real case and assure you of a win in the court."

Please use words that are commonly found in news stories---"intoned" is not used in news stories normally.

"According to the district head and based on the information that I have received from the ministers, there is a strong reason why this decision has been made. Churchill Mining complained because it thinks it is right and therefore it`s brought the case to the international court for arbitration. This is a lesson for us. A district case is brought to an arbitration court with the President as the first defendant. Imagine when the same case emerges from hundreds of districts and we are on the losing side, the implications would be extraordinary," he said.

In response, Churchill Mining said on its website that it has filed a lawsuit over a coal project in Kutai Timur, Kalimantan, in which it has a 75 percent stake.

The lawsuit was submitted on May 22, 2012 to the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) in Washington DC.

According to Kontan Daily, Isran Noor, the district head of Kutai Timur, said that there has never been a mining company named Churchill Mining Plc. investing in his region. He further claimed the mining company had never been registered with the mining service of Kutai Timur.

Isran admitted he only learnt about Churchill in 2009 after the company announced that it had invested in a coal mining project at Kutai Timur.

Based on data of the Kutai Timur district administration, Churchill only holds a 75 percent stake in coal mining group Ridlatama.

The government of Kutai Timur, has meanwhile revoked four business licenses from Ridlatama.

Isran said that a foreign company may not operate using a mining business license, but must use a working contract or a coal mining contract agreement, before commencing operations.(*)