As RICO trial opens, Chevron takes aim at accuser

United States

Less than three years after winning a US$19 billion oilfield-pollution case against Chevron in Ecuador, Harvard-trained attorney Steven Donziger entered a Manhattan courtroom on Oct. 15 to face accusations that the victory was achieved through illegal means including extortion, bribery and fraud. The occasion was the start of a trial pitting Donziger and his two-member defense team against a battery of over a half-dozen Chevron attorneys. Experts say the outcome could influence whether Donziger’s rainforest-dwelling clients ever collect any damages awarded them in the pollution judgment. Chevron is suing Donziger under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO). At issue is Donziger’s conduct in the pollution case, which centered on environmental contamination from oil operations managed in the... [Log in to read more]

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