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Group of legal experts form committee to monitor criminal trial against environmental lawyer who fought Chevron

"Human rights experts band together to monitor Chevron foe's criminal trial", 17 August 2020.

A group of legal experts on Monday announced the formation of a committee to monitor the criminal contempt trial against an environmental lawyer in New York who has waged a decades-long battle against the oil giant Chevron, citing irregularities in the court case...seven legal scholars and advocates have formed a trial monitoring committee out of concern with what they see as rampant misconduct plaguing the case. Such committees, which don't carry any legal authority in court, are rare for U.S. cases...

Scott Wilson Badenoch Jr., an environmental and human rights lawyer, organized the committee after studying the court record and being shocked by Donziger's ordeal, he told The Hill. "The depths of what seems to be misconduct in this case were eerily similar to the types of misconduct we've seen in other countries that have a lesser commitment to and tradition of just rule of law,"...Among those on the seven-member committee are Nadine Strossen, former president of the American Civil Liberties Union; Stephen Rapp, a former U.S. ambassador-at-large for war crimes during the Obama administration; and Christopher "Kip" Hale, a distinguished international criminal justice expert...

District Judge Lewis Kaplan...ruled in 2014 that Donziger had committed bribery and fraud in securing the court win in Ecuador. When Donziger refused Kaplan's order to hand over his cellphone and computer, citing attorney-client privilege, the judge charged him with criminal contempt. In contempt cases, it is usually up to the government to handle prosecution, but the U.S. attorney's office in Manhattan declined the case. Kaplan took the rare step of appointing a private law firm to prosecute the misdemeanor criminal charge. Donziger's legal team is seeking to disqualify the firm in a pretrial appeal, citing the fact that it represented Chevron as recently as 2018...Chevron's star witness, later admitted to lying on the stand.

...a spokesperson for Chevron, told The Hill, "The judgment against Chevron Corporation in Ecuador was the product of fraud, bribery and corruption...Donziger’s continuing lawlessness is now a matter for prosecutors and the U.S. courts to decide. Chevron is not involved in Donziger’s criminal prosecution."...

Part of the following stories

Texaco/Chevron lawsuits (re Ecuador)

USA: Environmental lawyer who fought Chevron for oil pollution in Ecuador disbarred; legal experts form committee to moniter criminal contempt trial