Newmont Executive Testifies in Indonesian Trial
NESS CALLS ON INDONESIAN GOVERNMENT TO HOLD ACCOUNTABLE THOSE WHO HAVE USED
ERRONEOUS AND MISLEADING SCIENCE TO ACCUSE PT NEWMONT MINAHASA RAYA
MANADO, September 01, 2006 – After waiting for a year, Newmont Mining executive Richard Ness took the witness stand today in the Indonesian District Court of Manado. Ness proclaimed his and Newmont's innocence in the trial taking place on the Indonesian island of North Sulawesi. Ness noted that testimony given by nearly all witnesses had proven that Buyat Bay has never been polluted, and that the charges never had any basis in fact or science.
As President Director of PT Newmont Minahasa Raya, Ness demonstrated that Newmont, with government approval, had obtained and complied with all necessary permits. Ness testified that Newmont had abided by all environmental regulations and requirements. He also discredited accusations of pollution by showing the court how the mine had discharged far fewer metals than were allowed under the permits granted by the Indonesian authorities. Over 8 years of operations, the mine discharged less than half of total tailings allowed by the permit.
Ness challenged the Ministry of Environment's 2004 Technical Team report which formed the basis for some of the indictments against him and the Company. Ness also described how multiple witnesses over the course of the trial had repeatedly relied on flawed scientific evidence in the report, including references to fictitious standards, embellished fish population studies and discredited methodologies. Ness called on the Indonesian Government to hold accountable those who used a government appointed body to publish incorrect and misleading data in an effort to target the mining company.
After the trial, the lead lawyer for Newmont's defense, Luhut Pangaribuan said, "It is clear that there is no legal basis
for any of the indictments against Richard Ness and PTNMR, for one simple reason: there was never any criminal
wrongdoing. The facts of the case and all of the witnesses who testified before the court have shown that there is no
pollution in Buyat Bay."
Ness was equally adamant, saying, "I believe it has been proven in court that there is absolutely no evidence to
support the allegations in the indictments. However, we will continue to respect the ongoing legal process in
Indonesia. The last two years have been very hard for me and my family and we look forward to being proven
innocent in court very soon."
In Denver, Senior Vice President for Operations Tom Enos said, "All the facts have now been submitted and the
evidence clearly shows that these charges were false from the beginning. Rick Ness is an innocent man who has
endured a two-year nightmare. He deserves to be exonerated as quickly as possible."
SOURCE Newmont Mining Corporation