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NY trial begins in Chevron's bid to prevent collection in US of $18B environmental judgment

NEW YORK, N.Y. – A New York judge who once tried to stop collection worldwide of an $18 billion environmental judgment against energy giant Chevron has begun hearing evidence in the oil company’s bid to block collection in the U.S.

Federal Judge Lewis Kaplan listened Tuesday as Chevron attorney Randy Mastro accused a lawyer, Steven Donziger, of fraudulently winning the judgment two years ago in Ecuador. Mastro says that if Chevron loses the case, “it will be open season on U.S. companies in corrupt foreign jurisdictions.”

A lawyer for the defendants says the judgment was just for the indigenous people of the Amazonian rainforest. He says Donziger was doing honourable work when he tried to hold a multinational corporation responsible for environmental harm to a third-world country.