April 4 The Ecuadorean judge who issued an $18.2
billion verdict against Chevron Corp has denied bribery
allegations made by another judge who presided over the landmark
pollution case in the South American country, according to a
court filing on Thursday.
Nicolas Zambrano had been accused in a U.S. court-filed
sworn statement by Alberto Guerra, a fellow judge who heard the
case in Ecuador in 2003 and 2004, of taking a $500,000 bribe
from the plaintiffs.
Zambrano denied the allegation in his own affidavit, filed
in the same New York federal court for a fraud case being
brought by Chevron. He also claimed in the affidavit that Guerra
had told him that the U.S. oil company would offer Zambrano $1
million in exchange for a "statement in favor of Chevron."
"I did not accept the proposal. After that, Dr. Guerra
called me two more times to inquire about my answer. When I
absolutely rejected the proposal, he did not ever call again,"
Zambrano wrote in his affidavit, dated March 28, 2013, but filed
with the court on Thursday.
Chevron spokesman Kent Robertson told Reuters in an email
that Zambrano's allegations were "false and completely
Zambrano's filing is the latest salvo in a two-decade battle
between Chevron and Ecuadorean residents over environmental
The residents claim that Texaco, which Chevron acquired in
2001, polluted the rainforest and water supplies with hundreds
of unlined waste pits from 1964 to 1992, and that crops and
public health were damaged.
Chevron has said that its share of the waste pits was
cleaned up and that it was not responsible for environmental and
public health damage.
In 2011, Zambrano issued the $18.2 billion judgment against
Chevron. Last July, an Ecuadorean judge increased the damages to
Guerra claimed in his affidavit that he illegally ghostwrote
Zambrano's judgment. In his filing, Zambrano denied the
Chevron's Robertson said Guerra's account was corroborated
by computer, bank, and shipping records, as well as the
plaintiffs' lawyers' own internal e-mails.
A spokeswoman for the plaintiffs has argued that Guerra is
being paid hundreds of thousands of dollars by Chevron to make
"false allegations" about the Ecuador trial court judgment.
Guerra, in his declaration, said he received $38,000 from
the company for the costs of providing the evidence. Chevron has
confirmed that the company will pay Guerra's family $10,000 for
monthly living expenses and $2,000 for housing.
Guerra was not immediately available to comment on Thursday.
The New York case is Chevron Corporation v. Donziger, et
al., U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York,