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If at first you don’t succeed…

The Amazon Defense Front is back at it, trying to distract attention from revelations that its lawyers submitted fabricated expert reports to the court in Lago Agrio.

In the latest volley, the Front’s publicist, Karen Hinton, revisits the $3 million bribery scandal that entangled the judge presiding over the Lago Agrio trial as well as individuals representing themselves as members of the Ecuadorian government and its ruling political party.

After failed attempts to question the legitimacy of the videotape evidence, the Front is now taking aim at outside counsel for Chevron.  In its latest attack, the Front’s lawyers accuse Chevron counsel of concealing that Diego Borja, one of the men who recorded the meetings in which the bribery plot was discussed, had previously performed contract work for Chevron.

Yet, when Chevron announced that it had provided copies of the videotapes to authorities in the United States and Ecuador, Chevron stated in its press release that, “Evidence of the bribery plot was brought to Chevron’s attention in June by an Ecuadorian, who was pursuing business opportunities in Ecuador with an American businessman. The Ecuadorian, Diego Borja, has performed work for Chevron as a logistics contractor.”

This fact was widely reported by American media outlets like the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the San Francisco Chronicle.  In Ecuador, papers such as El Comercio, El Universo, La Hora, Expreso, and Hoy also reported that Mr. Borja had been a Chevron contractor.

Chevron counsel also disclosed this fact to the Lago Agrio court in multiple filings.

Diego Borja, in a sworn statement provided to authorities, also disclosed that he had previously performed work as a contractor for Chevron.

It’s unclear why the Front’s lawyers want to keep talking about government-authenticated videotapes that depict judicial misconduct, especially when Karen Hinton has stated that the Front has “full confidence in the Ecuadorian judicial system.”  It would seem that, in light of the facts, this position is just as misguided as the notion that Diego Borja’s prior work as a contractor is some sort of secret.  However, when faced with the choice of having to explain why their lawyers submitted fabricated expert reports to the court, perhaps a $3 million bribery scheme looks like a better topic of conversation.

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