Human legal rights attorney Steven Donziger reported Monday that he is a victim of an “noticeable travesty of justice” and vowed to attraction just after a choose found him responsible on 6 counts of criminal contempt of courtroom.
“The conclusion marks a unhappy day for the rule of law, for our democracy, and for our earth.”
The ruling by U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska marks the most current advancement in a scenario that stems from Donziger’s position in securing a historic, multibillion-greenback settlement in opposition to Chevron more than the oil giant’s devastating pollution of the Ecuadorian Amazon.
Chevron has not paid any of the 2011 settlement, which the corporation statements was improperly obtained.
Though the Ecuadorian Supreme Court upheld the first settlement, Chevron has relentlessly pushed its fraud statements in U.S. court. In 2014, a federal decide with connections to Chevron ruled—based on testimony from a witness who has considering the fact that admitted to lying—that Donziger was guilty of a “sample of racketeering activity,” a cost he has denied.
Donziger was then purchased to convert about his mobile cellular phone and computer to Chevron. When he appealed on the grounds that the devices contained customer data, U.S. District Choose Lewis Kaplan strike the attorney with legal contempt fees that finally landed him underneath home arrest, the place he has remained for extra than 700 days.
In a statement (pdf) Monday, Donziger characterized Preska’s ruling as “the most recent endeavor by Chevron and its judicial allies to criminalize me and to mail a message of intimidation to legit human rights attorneys who properly obstacle the significant polluters of the fossil gas industry.”
“The determination marks a unhappy day for the rule of law, for our democracy, and for our planet,” Donziger added. “The United States has now turn out to be just one of people countries where by environmental advocates are attacked, place in jail, or even murdered for undertaking their positions effectively.”
Donziger went on to describe Preska’s conclusion as “the result of a patently unfair trial procedure that she and Judge Kaplan structured to undermine my defense and to make me seem guilty.”
In 2019, just after the Southern District of New York declined to choose up the scenario from Donziger, Kaplan appointed a Chevron-connected private legislation company to go after the prosecution. Kaplan then handpicked Preska—previously a member of the Chevron-funded Federalist Society—to preside more than the case.
In his statement Monday, Donziger claimed Preska “allow Chevron’s personal lawyers testify” against him “even though protecting them from having to disclose how considerably Chevron compensated them.”
“Decide Preska presently has detained me in my home for 720 times when the longest sentence ever given for my intended ‘crime’ is 90 times of house confinement,” Donziger explained. “We have a sturdy attractiveness and I search ahead to the prospect to transient the appellate court docket on this obvious travesty of justice. I also repeat my connect with for Choose Preska to launch me right away so I can return to my human legal rights get the job done and help individuals in Ecuador who are suffering and dying due to the fact of Chevron’s dumping of billions of gallons of most cancers-creating poisonous squander into the Amazon.”