Exxon must face Indonesian suit

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Exxon Mobil Corp. must face a lawsuit by villagers in Indonesia who say the company contributed to human rights abuses by government security forces.

U.S. Judge Louis Oberdorfer in Washington denied a motion by Exxon and ExxonMobil Oil Indonesia to dismiss the suit, saying there was evidence Indonesian security forces under contract with the companies committed atrocities.

The villagers sued in 2001, claiming that Indonesian soldiers working for the Irving, Texas, company committed murder, torture and rape in Aceh province, where the company operates a government-owned oil and natural gas field and a pipeline.