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Apartheid suits vs US companies barred

New York - A federal appeals court in New York says Daimler AG, Ford and IBM cannot be held liable for abuses suffered under South Africa's apartheid government.

The 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals said on Wednesday that claims that subsidiaries of the US companies sold cars and computers to the South African government must be rejected. The court left it to a lower court to formally toss the claims.

Lawsuits sought to hold the companies responsible for race-based injustices including rape, torture and murder.

The appeals court based its ruling on a recent Supreme Court decision pertaining to a law used to hold defendants liable for crimes against humanity.

It concluded that federal courts may not recognize common-law claims for conduct in another nation's territory.

- AP

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