Chevron Welcomes News of Investigation Into Judicial Misconduct
Statements by President's Correa's Top Lawyer Raise Concerns About Prosecutorial Independence
SAN RAMON, Calif., Sept. 2, 2009 - The following is a statement by Charles James, executive vice president, Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX), regarding the response by the government of Ecuador to evidence filed Monday regarding judicial misconduct by the judge in a lawsuit involving the company in that country and evidence of an apparent bribe scheme associated with the case:
"We welcome news of the decision by the Prosecutor General to open a formal investigation into the evidence we presented to his office Monday, August 31. We hope that his investigation will be thorough, independent and transparent, and that he makes his findings public.
"We are disappointed, however, that certain government officials, and persons associated with the plaintiffs, have attacked Chevron for bringing evidence of wrongdoing to light. When asked by a local reporter what the Ecuadorian government should do, Alexis Mera, legal advisor to President Correa, stated that the Prosecutor General should begin by investigating Chevron's lawyers. In the same response, Mr. Mera stated that the recordings have 'no legal value.' As legal advisor to President Correa, Mr. Mera must recognize that his statements to the media only raise further concerns of prejudgment and government involvement in the Lago Agrio trial. Chevron has not asserted that Mr. Mera was involved in wrongdoing as indicated in the video. However, Mr. Mera is directly referenced in the transcripts and videos turned over as evidence to the Prosecutor General on Monday (see transcript excerpts included below). Mr. Mera's apparent direct interest in the investigation is difficult to square with the standards of impartiality and transparency we hope will characterize the investigation by the Prosecutor General."
To review the complete transcripts and view video evidence, please visit www.chevron.com/ecuador.
Note to Editors
Alexis Mera's name is raised in recorded conversations about a bribe scheme discussed by a purported party official with Ecuador's ruling party, Alianza PAIS. Here are the excerpts.
Date Recorded: May 11, 2009
Location: Alianza PAIS Offices, Quito, Ecuador
Attendees: Patricio García, Aulo Gelio Ávila, Pablo Almeida, Rubén Miranda, Diego Borja
Borja: Yes, Aulo told me yesterday. I mean, as I told him, they did the transfer to buy the Apartment of Salinas from one day to the next. That's how they did the transfer. And he has the account at Citi International, I mean, he can take it out here, right? And it's already justified and all that shit, I mean, I don't see the problem.
Garcia: Now it's just the process, Alexis Mera, in fact, has already given him instructions.
Borja: Who is he?
Garcia: The legal advisor to the president's office. Instructions in the sense of how the money is going to be routed.
Borja: Oh, yeah, yeah. Is that what he was referring to?
Garcia: That's what he was referring to.
Almeida: So you have a business.
Almeida: The judge already tells them the percentage of bioremediation.
Almeida: The government does it. It's already discussed. Alexis Mera [Unintelligible.] an executive unit.
Avila: The judge already opens the way with the name and everything, directly in the opinion.
Almeida: Bioremediation is for the fields.
Borja: Right, that's different.
Garcia: Right, because even the stuff with the water that you said was the second part, because [I'm with the provincial council and I already talked to the governor about this situation and he's delighted].
Almeida: Bioremediation is going to be handled by the government. Alexis Mera [Unintelligible.] discussed: that he is going to form an executive unit. Here's the executive unit.
Updated: September 2009