Brazilian federal prosecutors (MPF) have asked a Minas Gerais state court to resume an ongoing criminal lawsuit against Samarco, MPF said. Samarco is a 50/50 pellets producer owned by Vale and BHP Billiton.
MPF said hearings for the lawsuit were halted last year during Covid-19 and have not resumed. Prosecutors said a number of hearings are yet to take place, so the court can move on the lawsuit proceedings. MPF said it fears several crimes involving Samarco and its executives might “expire.”
Prosecutors also asked that hearings of foreign residents involved in the case should also continue, using videoconferencing tools for all hearings if necessary.
Samarco resumed activities in mid-December after a five-year halt, following the Mariana disaster that killed 19 people.