Embattled attorney Steven Donziger urged a New York federal court Monday to dismiss charges that he disobeyed court orders in an underlying civil suit Chevron lodged against him over a $9 billion Ecuador environmental judgment, arguing the criminal case warrants dismissal because he’s a victim of malicious, “vindictive and selective prosecution.”
In his 12-page dismissal motion, Donziger reiterated judicial bias claims against U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan, who presided over his racketeering trial with Chevron Corp. six years ago. The senior judge had triggered the ongoing criminal case against the environmental lawyer after finding in 2014 that Donziger used fraud in obtaining a $9.5 billion oil pollution judgment in Ecuador against the $226 billion energy giant.
With Chevron still on the offensive post-ruling, Judge Kaplan in 2019 held Donziger in civil contempt for breaking court orders and hit him with heavy fines. The judge said Donziger had blatantly ignored orders forbidding him from profiting from the award.
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