March 23, 2006
Court reverses injunction blocking Stolt-Nielsen indictment
Stolt-Nielsen S.A. (NasdaqNM:SNSA) (Oslo Stock Exchange:SNI) announced today that a two-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has reversed and remanded a District Court injunction blocking the U.S. Department of Justice's Antitrust Division from indicting the company, its officers, directors and employees in connection with alleged antitrust violations in the parcel tanker industry.
The District Court injunction was based on an amnesty agreement between the Company and the Antitrust Division.
Today's Third Circuit ruling found that the District Court did not have the authority to enforce an amnesty agreement prior to an indictment. The Third Circuit found that Stolt-Nielsen should raise its arguments at a later stage. The Third Circuit today did not address the merits of Stolt-Nielsen's amnesty defense.
The company says that it intends to file a petition for a rehearing en banc with the Third Circuit. It says the filing of such a petition will delay the effect of today's decision.
Today's decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals is available on its website at http://www.ca3.uscourts.gov/opinarch/051480p.pdf.