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    CANADIAN COMPANY NOT TO GET $5 BN FROM RUSSIAN OIL MAMMOTH

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    MOSCOW, MARCH 31, (RIA NOVOSTI) - The Canadian-based Archangel Diamond Corporation, or ADC, had long been litigating with Russia's LUKoil petroleum mammoth and its affiliate AGD for US$5 billion indemnities. Now, the Colorado court of appeal has settled the case in the defendant's favour, LUKoil PR say in a press release circulated today.

    The Denver district court previously declined the ADC suit. Now, the Colorado court of appeal has confirmed its verdict as the corporate defendants were outside state Colorado jurisdiction, explains the release.

    The plaintiff was demanding an approximate total $4.8 billion indemnities-1.2 billion actual damages plus a 3.6 billion fine-from the LUKoil and the AGD, or Arkhangelslgeoldobycha (Archangel Mining Co.).

    The litigants had negotiations outside the USA. The disputable property is also outside it. Besides, all contract works were in Russia. Despite all that, the ADC chose to bring a suit in Colorado after a statement in which it assumed that the involved legal procedure was in compliance with the US federal Constitution.

    The Colorado district court found the case clashing with the state legislation and declined the suit as out of its jurisdiction, October 15, 2002. The ADC launched an appeal.

    After the state Colorado court of appeal heard oral evidence and perused a huge file, it confirmed the district court verdict in a detailed resolution of March 25, 2004. No court of the state of Colorado has personal jurisdiction over either the LUKoil or the ADC, the court of appeal explicitly said.

    The dispute is cognisable solely in Russian-based courts, the LUKoil insisted on a number of occasions. Now, the Colorado verdict has proved its point. In repeated public statements, the LUKoil said it would comply with whatever Russian court verdict concerning the disputed diamond mining license.

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