Circumstances suspicious says judge

National Court Judge, Justice Cannings, has said the circumstances surrounding the withdrawal of a case challenging the dumping of mine waste into the sea were “suspicious”.

The three plaintiff’s challenging the mine waste dumping plans of the Ramu nickel mine in Madang withdrew their instructions on the eve of the planned trial this week.

The judge said the circumstances were suspicious and people would legitimately wonder if the landowners had been intimidated, threatened or paid off.

The Ramu nickel mine is jointly owned by the Chinese State company, MCC, and Australian company Highlands Pacific.

The marine dumping of mine waste is banned in both China and Australia.

Although they have stopped the legal challenge, the plaintiff’s have not withdrawn their criticism of the marine dumping plans but say they wanted the case to end to stop the conflict in their communities and because they are scared for their safety.

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Filed under Corruption, Environmental impact, Human rights, Mine construction, Papua New Guinea

One response to “Circumstances suspicious says judge

  1. Tiffany dumped while DSTP order lifted

    TIFFANY Nonggorr of Nonggorr William Lawyers representing plaintiffs in the most publicized Ramu NiCo deep sea tailing placement (DSTP) litigation was dumped by her clients and later refused by the court to add a new plaintiff in the proceeding.

    Residence judge in Madang, Justice David Cannings on Friday trashed the application by Mrs. Nonggorr to add Louis Medaing as a joinder in the DSTP litigation saying he did not meet the National Court Orders.

    The decision followed after Tiffany’s former clients, Eddie Tarsie, Farina Siga and Peter Sel were granted leave on Thursday Sept 23 to discontinue the case. The three plaintiffs followed the two earlier plaintiffs Sama Melambo and Saidor ILG’s withdrawal.

    At 4pm on Friday, Justice Cannings further lifted the interim injunction order of March 19, 2010 on the construction and operation of DSTP system at Ramu NiCo Basamuk refinery.

    Tiffany on the same day filed a fresh application to challenge the DSTP program in the name of Mr. Medaing against the Company, along with a Notice of Motion seeking another “urgent” interim injunction. The Judge said that this new application will be dealt with on its merits and it would be “highly speculative” to pre-empt the fate of the new application if it is heard.

    Landowners from Basamuk and Raicoast outside the court house welcome the decision and thanked the plaintiffs from withdrawing the litigation which has cost the Company a lot of money and severely injured the Project.

    Ramu NiCo Management welcomes the initiative by the plaintiffs and added that the move depicts confidence in the Project.

    Landowner Chairman from Kurumbukari, David Tigavu also welcomes the stand by the plaintiffs saying the international NGO’s have been trying to hijack the development of the Project that would directly benefit the people of Usino and Raicoast.

    On Friday, Tiffany was spotted crammed in a four wheel land cruiser open back owned and operated by Bismarck Ramu Group (BRG) driven by an American citizen Barry Lally who is the technical advisor to BRG stationed at Jais Aben outside Madang.

    Partner, Mr. William, staff members from BRG and three male and a female foreigners were also spotted at the back of the packed land cruiser.

    Earlier, the five plaintiffs, including LLG members and leaders of Saidor and Raicoast submitted in their affidavits accusing Tiffany and BRG, the American owned NGO for hijacking and using their case to lure funding from overseas for their own use.

    A landowner from Kurumbukari, Joe Koroma who also intends to withdraw his case against Ramu NiCo over the land ownership dispute came out public in the media earlier accusing Tiffany and BRG for hijacking his case for their own benefit.

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