Former Judge Says He Was Bribed to Write Rulings Ordering Chevron to Pay $19 Billion

The oil giant is trying to get the massive fine for polluting Ecuadorean villagers' land rescinded based on the new testimony

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Former Ecuadorean judge Alberto Guerra Bastida leaves the federal court in New York October 22, 2013. Guerra testified on Wednesday that he ghost-wrote rulings for another judge who ordered Chevron Corp to pay $19 billion to villagers whose land had been polluted by oil exploration.

A former Ecuadorean judge testified in New York on Wednesday that he ghost wrote rulings for the judge who in 2011 ordered Chevron to pay $19 billion to villagers whose land was polluted by oil exploration. Chevron maintains that U.S. lawyer Steven Donziger bribed Ecuadorean judges to win money for villagers, Reuters reports.

Former judge Alberto Guerra testified that lawyers representing the villagers agreed to pay him $1,000 a month to write the court orders for the presiding judge, Nicolas Zambrano—who he said was also being paid.

Chevron hopes to prevent Dozinger and the villagers he represented from collecting on their $19 billion award.