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After Chevron Posts YouTube Video, Ecuador Judge Steps Down in $27B Case

Posted Sep 4, 2009 3:58 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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Saying that he did nothing wrong but doesn't want to impede an ongoing investigation, a judge in Ecuador has recused himself in a $27 billion environmental case following a claim by Chevron Corp. that he discussed his planned upcoming ruling in the ongoing litigation with two businessmen.

In a highly unusual trial tactic, Chevron not only contended that a videotape proves the claimed improper conversation but posted what the company says is footage of the conversation on a corporate website and YouTube.

Ecuador's attorney general, Washington Pesantez, is investigating to determine the authenticity of the videotape, which the accused judge, Juan Núñez, contends was doctored.

Pesantez warned Chevron today not to attempt to undermine the litigation process in the 16-year-old Lago Agrio case and said at a press conference today that "Chevron is using the video to delegitimize the process being brought against it and create the pretext for not paying large damages in case they are found guilty," reports Reuters.

Additional coverage:

Corporate Counsel: "Judge Recuses Himself From Chevron Case in Ecuador"

Wall Street Journal: "Judge Withdraws From Chevron Case "

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