New Testimony in the Chevron v. Donziger Case
There have been some new developments in the Chevron v. Donziger case as the trial has proceeded. The former Ecuadorean judge, Alberto Guerra, who presided over the pollution case, testified that “he and a colleague who issued a $19 billion judgment against the company in the environmental lawsuit were bribed.” He went on to tell the court that the lawyers for the plaintiffs paid him thousands to rule in their favor. The other judge, Nicolas Zambrano, was promised $500,000 of the $19 billion to issue that ruling. Guerra revealed that he “also routinely ghost wrote judgments for Zambrano and was paid for those services.” Alberto Guerra even explained why some of the rulings in the case favored Chevron; telling the court that if all orders benefited the plaintiff, it would have raised suspicion.
Nicolas Zambrano has denied Guerra’s testimony, insisting he was not bribed by the plaintiffs nor was anyone involved in writing his decisions. The attorneys have said that he may testify for the Ecuadorean plaintiffs.
In further developments, on the ninth day of trial a New York lawyer and partner at Constantine Cannon, Jeffrey Shinder, testified that he left the team that was suing Chevron over environmental pollution in Ecuador in 2010 for “ethical” reasons. Shinder said that Donziger, the lawyer who headed the litigation, “had approached him starting in late 2009 about helping enforce any award the Ecuadorean court issued.” He explained that just eight days following his formal retention he quit “after learning that a report by an expert appointed by the Ecuadorean court had actually been written by a consulting firm working for the plaintiffs.”
During trial Shinder said “I wanted no part in it”, adding “it bothered me and still bothers me that we’ll never know if there was a case against Chevron.”
Source: Bloomberg and Reuters