Verdanta Plead for KCM Case To Be Heard In Zambia, Not London
Verdanta Resources lawyers have told the UK Supreme Court that the case against them over pollution at Konkola Copper Mine, should in fact be held in Zambia and not London.
Verdanta delisted from the London Stock Exchange last year however they maintain their legal base here. They have appealed a lower court ruling in which a case brought against them by 2,000 Zambians over polluted land, could be held in the UK.
Their legal team have argued that Zambia was in fact the most appropriate forum for this case, seen as it has been brought about by Zambians and involved Zambian property.
In 2017, London’s Court of Appeal had found that 1,826 Zambian citizens living on the Copperbelt had the right to sue Vedanta in the English courts.
Vedanta is challenging this.
The Zambians have claimed that their land and therefore livelihoods have been destroyed by water pollution from Nchanga Copper Mine. Vedanta’s barrister Charles Gibson QC told the court today that the farmers’ case was “deeply tiresome” and their “allegations have absolutely no substance.”
The Zambians are being represented by Leigh Day.
British Green Party MP Caroline Lucas expressed solidarity with the Zambian claimants. She lambasted “Vedanta’s irresponsible pursuit of profit,” saying: “When British corporations like Vedanta cause toxic pollution overseas, it’s absolutely right that they pay for the damage.”
The case continues and A verdict is expected in April.