Photo Credit: APAttorneys representing environmentalist groups in a lawsuit against a major oil company bribed an Ecuadorian judge to issue a multi-billion dollar judgment against that oil company, according to sworn testimony by a judge involved in the scheme.
The testimony could derail efforts by the environmentalist groups to recover damages resulting from the Ecuadorian judgment.
An Ecuadorian court handed down an $18.2 billion judgment against Chevron in February 2011, holding the company responsible for ecological damage surrounding the Lago Agrio oil field in Nueva Loja, Ecuador.
Texaco drilled for crude during the 1970s and 1980s at the site, which became the focus of years of legal battles. Chevron inherited the company’s legal liabilities when it bought Texaco in 2001.
Chevron alleged malfeasance in the Ecuadorian court proceedings and in its judgment against the company. A sworn declaration from Albert Guerra, a former judge in the case, appears to corroborate the company’s allegations that the plaintiffs illegally conspired with the court in crafting the February 2011 judgment.
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