The Judge of Civil Law Court-B in Monrovia has dismissed a motion to dismiss an action of damage suit filed by lawyers representing Concord Times Newspaper. ArcelorMittal’s lawyers instead of arguing the core allegations brought against them by the Liberian newspaper for ordering the shutting of its online version, attempted to take shut cut to abort the lawsuit.
Concord Times Newspaper, a prominent Liberian media outlet, last year filed a lawsuit against ArcelorMittal, alleging the unlawful closure of concordtimes.net, its online version. The newspaper is seeking damages exceeding US$10 million, citing the actions of the steel giant as the cause for its claim.
At court, the multinational mining company’s lawyers attempted using technical means to avoid responding to the allegations made against them by the newspaper. The Motion claimed the newspaper’s lawyers filed double citations to the defendants, which they said, was in violation of the law.
But Concord Times’ Lawyers quickly debunked the allegation; telling the court that they had legally sought the approval of the very court to withdraw an earlier citation before filing a second one. The newspaper’s lawyers displayed documents confirming notice of voluntary withdrawal approved by the court.
After several minutes of arguments by lawyers representing both parties, the Judge denied the steel giant’s motion to dismiss.
The hearing marks the initial stage in what is expected to be a significant legal battle between the Concord Times Newspaper and ArcelorMittal.