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Fri Feb 17, 2012, 03:50 PM

Panel protects Chevron in Ecuador case

Panel protects Chevron in Ecuador case
AFP 47 mins ago

An arbitration panel in The Hague backed Chevron's bid for temporary protection from a $9.5 billion Ecuador court judgment against the oil giant, documents showed Friday.

The panel's order Thursday buys Chevron time to fight the judgment set against it one year ago for environmental damage in the Ecuadoran jungle allegedly caused by Texaco, which Chevron acquired in 2001.

Washington-based group Public Citizen, which campaigns to limit the power of corporations, said the tribunal's decision effectively "ordered the Ecuadoran government to interfere in the operations of Ecuador's independent court system on behalf of the oil giant."

After having lost the case, the group said, "Chevron turned to an ad hoc 'investor-state' tribunal of three private lawyers as the last chance to help the company avoid paying to clean up contamination in the Amazonian rainforest."


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