Chevron makes its case in trial over $19 bln Ecuadorean judgment

Tue Nov 12, 2013 5:35pm EST
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By Joseph Ax

NEW YORK Nov 12 (Reuters) - Chevron Corp is bringing its enormous resources to bear in a court case in New York in which it has accused a U.S. lawyer of using fraud to win a $19 billion environmental judgment against it.

The judgment was made by an Ecuadorean court to a group of affected villagers in 2011. Chevron has asked the U.S. District Court in Manhattan to prevent the villagers and the U.S. lawyer who helped them, Steven Donziger, from collecting the award.

Donziger has denied using fraud to obtain the judgment.

Chevron, which rested its case on Tuesday, has brought a series of expert witnesses from the fields of linguistics, psychology and computer science to testify in the case over the past four weeks.

The star witness was Alberto Guerra, a former Ecuadorean judge who said he was paid by lawyers for the villagers to ghostwrite rulings for the judge in the case.

Donziger was aware of the arrangement, he said.

"Mr. Donziger thanked me for the work that I was going to do," Guerra said.

Lawyers for Donziger said Guerra's testimony cannot be credited because Chevron paid to relocate his family and has covered his living and housing expenses.   Continued...