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4 Apr 2013

Paul M. Barrett, Bloomberg Businessweek

Lawyer Denies Court Payoffs in Chevron Pollution Case [USA]

Chevron…has produced some impressive evidence that the historic $19 billion oil-pollution verdict it faces in Ecuador floats on a lagoon of lies and corruption. Now the…plaintiffs’ lawyer whom the company portrays as the mastermind of the allegedly fraudulent judgment has finally stepped forward to deny under oath that he orchestrated the ghostwriting of the key February 2011 ruling in the case…What Donziger does not deny is that Guerra may have done ghostwriting that assisted the plaintiffs. Donziger merely claims not to know about it. This leaves open the possibility that the team of Ecuadorian lawyers with whom Donziger has worked for years…may have been involved in the chicanery Guerra describes…Donziger also denies that he ever promised Guerra and Zambrano a bribe of $500,000...In the meantime, thousands of farmers and Indians in the Oriente continue to live hard by a polluted industrial zone. Petroecuador has belatedly promised to clean up some of the polluted sites, but the oil company continues to have its own problems with fresh contamination.