On 4th March the US District Court for the Southern District of New York ruled that the US$ 9.5 billion judgement against Chevron Corporation in Ecuador was the product of fraud and racketeering activity, finding it unenforceable. The nearly 500 page ruling has found Steven Donziger, the lead American lawyer behind the Ecuadorian lawsuit against Chevron, violated the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organisations Act (RICO), committing extortion, money laundering, wire fraud, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations, witness tampering and obstruction of justice in obtaining the Ecuadorian judgement and in trying to cover up his and his associates’ crimes.
Court ruling and Chevron’s response
The US court found that Donziger and his team ‘wrote the court’s Judgement themselves and promised US$ 500 00 to the Ecuadorian judge to rule in their favour and sign their judgement.’ Judge Lewis Kapaln stated in the court’s ruling, ‘the wrongful actions of Donziger and his Ecuadorian legal team would be offensive to the laws of any nation that aspires to the rule of law, including Ecuador, and they knew it. Indeed, one Ecuadorian legal team member, in a moment of panicky candor, admitted that if documents exposing just part of what they had dome were to come to light, apart from destroying the proceeding, all of us, your attorneys, might go to jail. It Is time to face the facts.’
Hewitt Pate, Shevron VP and general counsel said, ‘today’s decision is unequivocal: The Ecuadorian judgement against Chevron is a fraud and is the result of criminal acts by a handful of corrupt lawyers looking to enrich themselves. Chevron’s reputation was taken hostage and held for a multibillion dollar ransom. Rather than give in and pay these criminals off, Chevron exposed the truth. Chevron is pleased with today’s judgement. We are confident that any court that respects the rule of law will likewise find the Ecuadorian judgment to be illegitimate and unenforceable.’
Adapted from a press release by Claira Lloyd.
Read the article online at: https://www.hydrocarbonengineering.com/gas-processing/05032014/ecuador_chevron_ruling_fraudulent228/