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ⓘ Steven Donziger




                                     

ⓘ Steven Donziger

Steven Donziger is an American lawyer known for his legal battles with Chevron, particularly the Lago Agrio oil field case which led the company to withdraw its operations from Ecuador. Donziger is currently under house arrest in New York City. He has been neither tried nor convicted of any crime however, he remains under house arrest for longer than any lawyer charged with contempt in New York. He awaits his trial in June 2020. Judge Kaplan appointed a private lawyer to prosecute Donziger.

Chevron General Counsel Hew Pate and his lawyers at the Gibson’s Dunn firm, led by Randy Mastro and Andrea Neuman, authorized payments of two million USD to a corrupt witness. This witness, Alberto Guerra was paid to falsely testify that Donziger had approved a bribe in Ecuador. He later confessed under oath that he had lied in Judge Kaplans court in New York in return for Chevron money. Forensic evidence supports this blatant corruption. Professor Charles Nesson of Harvard Law School fiercely criticized Chevron and Judge Kaplan, asserting that the corruption and bribery was simply a" means to protect the oil company from having to answer for its degradation of the Amazon”.

Donziger represents 30.000 indigenous people who, in 2013, won a $9.5 billion class action lawsuit against Chevron in an Ecuadorian court. The compensation amount was based on the contamination of their land for oil extraction activities. None of this money has been awarded, as Chevron has claimed that the ruling is flawed. In 2020, a group of twenty-nine Nobel laureates condemned "judicial harassment" by Chevron and urged the release of Donziger. Human rights campaigners have described the treatment of Donziger as exceptionally bad in the US, a country where wealthy companies use a technique known as Slapp strategic lawsuits against public participation - tactics to delay, distract and run down critics.

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