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Reuters – Former Ecuadorean judge testifies to bribery in Chevron case

Date: Oct 23, 2013

A former Ecuadorean judge testified on Wednesday that he ghost-wrote rulings for another judge who ordered Chevron Corp (CVX.N) to pay $19 billion to villagers whose land had been polluted by oil exploration.

Guerra said another lawyer representing the villagers had already agreed to pay him $1,000 a month to ghost-write court orders for the presiding judge, Nicolas Zambrano. Zambrano, who was also being paid, agreed to expedite the case and limit procedural avenues by which Chevron could delay it, Guerra said.

Donziger was fully aware of the arrangement, Guerra said.

“Mr. Donziger thanked me for the work that I was going to do,” Guerra said of the restaurant meeting.

Randy Mastro, a lawyer for Chevron, asked Guerra if he understood he was violating Ecuadorean law by agreeing to ghost-write Zambrano’s orders.

“It hurts me to say so, but yes,” Guerra, wearing a gray suit, said calmly through an interpreter.