Royal Dutch Shell risks being sentenced sentenced by a U.S. court for complicity in torture and murder committed between 1992 and 1995, during the years of the military regime said newspapers in Nigeria, referring to a trial that could lead to court decisions by December.
The lawsuit was initiated by 12 Nigerians from Ogoniland, an area of the Niger Delta oil region. Their argument is that, to overcome the opposition to oil exploration by some local communities, Shell sought and supported repressive intervention tactics by the army and police.
The Nigerian plaintiffs could sue the corporation through a law in force since 1789, the Alien Tort Statute, which provides U.S. court jurisdiction ”for all crimes committed in violation of the law of nations”. Chevron also risks being convicted of similar crimes in Nigeria.
According to a study published last year by the UN, it will take no less than 30 years to repair the environmental damage caused by Shell in Ogoniland .