Argentine court upholds $19 bln freeze on Chevron assets- lawyer

BUENOS AIRES Wed Jan 30, 2013 1:53pm EST

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BUENOS AIRES Jan 30 (Reuters) - An Argentine appeals court has upheld a freeze on up to $19 billion worth of assets held by U.S. oil major Chevron Corp in Argentina as part of an environmental lawsuit by Ecuadorean villagers, one of the plaintiffs' lawyers, Enrique Bruchou, told Reuters on Wednesday.

Two Chevron affiliates, Chevron Argentina and Ing. Norberto Priu, asked the court in November to lift the asset freeze on the grounds that they were not directly owned by Chevron, but the court rejected their appeal unanimously, Bruchou said.