In New York, the federal trial against environmental and human rights lawyer Steven Donziger wrapped up Monday with the defense refusing to call a single witness after dismissing the trial as a “charade.” Donziger has been on house arrest for over 600 days on allegations of contempt of court after he refused to turn over his computer and cellphone.
The case stems from Chevron’s unprecedented legal campaign against Donziger over his role in winning an $18 billion settlement on behalf of 30,000 Amazonian Indigenous people who suffered the effects of toxic waste from Chevron’s oil drilling in the Amazon. In an unusual legal twist, the judge appointed a private law firm with ties to Chevron to prosecute Donziger, after federal prosecutors declined to bring charges. Donziger spoke to reporters ahead of the trial’s close.
Steven Donziger: “The Chevron witnesses admitted that they had had multiple meetings with the private corporate prosecutors from a Chevron law firm to help them prepare their public prosecution of me in an effort to convict me. … This is a process that is structurally designed to favor Chevron and to trample on my due process rights. I cannot get a fair trial.”
A verdict is expected in June. Click here to see our full interview with Steven Donziger.