Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Calmbacher's Testimony

As many of my readers will have heard, in 2008 an expert appointed by a court in Ecuador estimated that a predecessor corporation of Chevron Corp. had done $27 billion worth of damage to the rainforest. That appears not (yet) to be a judgment of the court, Chevron can and has continued to fight there. But the expert's opinion does create a foundation for an expected Monster of a judgment against it.

Chevron's strategy, accordingly, has been to look past the Ecuadorian court and the now-expected Monster judgment -- to call into question the legitimacy of the proceedings there, so as to oppose any effort to enforce such a judgment through the courts of the US.

They've just gotten good news in that regard. That court-appointed expert was working, at least in part, on the basis of a written report submitted to him over the name of Charles Calmbacher, a biologist hired by the plaintiffs. The plaintiffs, by the way, are natives of the Amazonian region where Chevron's precursor company, the old Texaco, did the contested drilling.

Anyway, Calmbacher has signed a deposition that says that the plaintiffs stopped paying his bils in 2004 and dismissed him from the case. Before that happened, he now says, he signed blank pages on the understanding that his report would later be printed over that signature. Something was, in fact, printed over that signature ... but Calmbacher says what was put there wasn't his work.

"I did not reach these conclusions and I did not write this report," he said in a recent deposition. Here's more.

Why am I re-hashing stuff that many of you read in yesterday's newspaper? Simply so that if I report further developments in this case, I'll have this to which to link for the background.

1 comment:

ZAP said...

Don't believe anything that Chevron and it's 12 PR firms say. They've lied to us many times before. Remember the secretly-videotaped "bribery scandal" that they trumpeted? It was complete hogwash, and they knew it at the time. They push these stories out to the media hard and fast, and then when the truth about them comes out it's too late to correct the record.

They also have their own new scandal to deal with today.

Seems one of their contractors in the case was both involved in the fake video setup and a number of other illicit activities on their behalf, and he admits it all on tape.