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Trials & Litigation

Chevron Video Posted on YouTube Was Doctored, Accused Judge Says

Posted Sep 2, 2009 1:47 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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Videotape of an Ecuador judge posted on YouTube and a company website by Chevron Corp. was doctored, the judge, who is accused of discussing an upcoming ruling in an ongoing environmental case, tells the Wall Street Journal (sub. req.).

"There was total manipulation in the video," says Judge Juan Núñez, who oversees the Lago Agrio court in which Chevron is defending a claim that it caused environmental damage in the Amazon region decades ago. "I see things that have been erased." He also contends that someone "cut and pasted certain things."

Chevron, which is seeking to disqualify Núñez from continuing to oversee the case, says its own experts found no manipulation and says the company is confident the video is authentic, the newspaper reports.

The videotape was secretly recorded by two men who hoped to obtain a government remediation contract after the judge's anticipated favorable ruling for the plaintiffs in the environmental case, according to the Wall Street Journal and information provided by a Chevron representative to the ABA Journal.

Earlier coverage:

ABAJournal.com: "Chevron Takes Pollution Case Bias Issue to Feds, Ecuador Officials—and YouTube"

Updated at 5:45 p.m. to accord with information from Chevron representative.

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