US lawyer who battled Chevron in Ecuador sentenced for contempt

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Judge gives Steven Donziger six-month jail term for ‘thumbing his nose at the US judicial system’

Gideon Long in Madrid

A US lawyer who secured a landmark judgment against Chevron over the damage he said the oil industry had inflicted on indigenous communities in Ecuador has been sentenced to six months in jail, the latest twist in an long-running legal saga.

A judge in New York said human-rights lawyer Steve Donziger deserved the maximum six-month sentence for wilfully and deliberately disobeying court orders. In July she found him guilty of contempt of court for refusing to hand information to Chevron about the case.

“Mr Donziger has spent the last seven-plus years thumbing his nose at the US judicial system,” said US Judge Loretta Preska. “It’s now time to pay the piper.”