In a civil suit against Blackwater, Judge T.S. Ellis III rules “claims alleging direct corporate liability for war crimes” are legitimate.
Iraqi civilians suing Blackwater on their claim its C.E.O., Erik Prince, “ordered or directed the killings allegedly committed in Iraq from within the United States”. While Judge T.S. Ellis III tossed out the plantiffs’ have standing under the RICO Act to file suit against Blackwater–now known as “Xe”–as a criminal enterprise, but “said bluntly that ‘claims alleging direct corporate liability for war crimes’ are legitimate” under the Alien Tort Claims Act, Jeremy Scahill reports at The Nation.
The Alien Tort Statute is a section of U.S. Code stating a district court has “original jurisdiction of any civil action by an alien for a tort only” committed in violation of international laws or a treaty signed by the U.S.
Judge Ellis’ statement can set precedence for future civil suits by foreign victims in the U.S. against U.S. corporations committing human rights violations outside of the country.
Read Jeremy Scahill’s full report on this ruling, Blackwater’s motion to dismiss and other suits against Blackwater here.
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