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Arbitrators say they can hear Chevron-Ecuador case

An international tribunal has found that it has jurisdiction to decide if Ecuador violated a treaty with the United States requiring it to guarantee a fair trial to Chevron Corp in an environmental lawsuit that ended in an $18 billion judgment against the oil company...Ecuador's attorney general has argued that the tribunal has no jurisdiction because the bilateral trade agreement between the United States and the Andean country went into effect five years after Texaco ended operations in Ecuador in 1992..."Rather than allow...plaintiffs' lawyers to cause even more damage for which Ecuador may ultimately be held responsible, the Republic should take this opportunity to pursue a more constructive course," Chevron's general counsel Hewitt Pate said in a statement.

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