20 Aug 2007
Chevron Calls for Recusal of Judge in Ecuador Suit
Lago Agrio, Ecuador, August 20, 2007 - Chevron, the defendant in an environmental lawsuit in Ecuador, today filed a petition seeking the recusal of Judge Germán Yánez Ruiz, President of the Superior Court of Nueva Loja, for repeated violations of Ecuador's Code of Civil Procedure committed while presiding over the environmental suit against Chevron.
Beginning in February 2006, Chevron has filed six separate petitions denouncing the existence of gross errors in the reports submitted by the plaintiffs' experts, which render those reports inadmissible as evidence and legally invalid. Judge Yánez has ignored each of Chevron's petitions in contravention of Ecuadorian law which mandates that the Judge render rulings on every petition filed by the parties within the time prescribed by law. By failing to address the petitions at all, Judge Germán Yánez has violated his legal duty in this case and has undermined Chevron's ability to defend itself and ultimately has deprived Chevron of its right to due process.
"Not only has Judge Yánez repeatedly violated Ecuadorian law, but he has undermined the legitimacy of this proceeding by ignoring Chevron's multiple attempts to ensure a factually complete and accurate record by highlighting the fundamental errors committed by plaintiffs' experts in their reports," said Ricardo Reis Veiga, Vice-President and Managing Counsel of Chevron for Latin America. "Judge Yanez' actions demonstrate that he cannot continue to preside over this case, and, therefore, Chevron is entitled to request his recusal."
In accordance with Ecuador's Code of Civil Procedure, Chevron has asked that the Alternate President of the Superior Court of Nueva Loja preside over the case, and that Judge Yánez remove himself from the case until the matter of recusal is fully resolved. For additional information on this litigation, please visit http://www.texaco.com/sitelets/ecuador/en/
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