The National aka The Loggers Times | May 15, 2019
THE National Court has issued a restraining order to landowners of Angore in Hela to stay away from the ExxonMobil’s project site.
Justice Derek Hartshorn issued the restraining order to Mango Kurali, a local from Angore PDL 8 area, his agents, tribesmen, relatives and supporters after finding that he and his associates participated in causing damage to ExxonMobil properties on Nov 15, 2017, May 29, 2018, and June 7, 2019.
“The evidence is unchallenged,” Justice Hartshorn said.
The court found that Kurali and his accomplices not only damaged properties, but also participated in setting up roadblocks, issuing threats and intimidating employees and contractors. This caused ExxonMobil to cease operations from time to time.
“ExxonMobil has rights,” Justice Hartshorn said. “PDL 8 itself grants ExxonMobil service rights to fulfil its obligations and construction to work and upgrade its existing gas lines under its licence.
“I am satisfied that the defendant had no right to destroy the properties and intimidate ExxonMobil contractors or prevent ExxonMobil’s operations in PDL 8.
“The actions by the defendants are against the law, and if not restrained by this court, he will continue to do what he did.”
The court held that ExxonMobil suffered damage estimated at millions of kina in its properties and it was not practical for ExxonMobil to compensate anybody.
In another case concerning damage to ExxonMobil’s properties in PDL8 as well, Justice Hartshorn issued restraining orders to Steven Au and David Hayebe.
They were charged with damaging properties, creating roadblocks and threatening employees.