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Chevron wins big in Ecuador row

SAN RAMON, Calif., Sept. 1 (UPI) -- Chevron announced it won a $96 million judgment against Ecuador at The Hague, Netherlands, after the country was found to have broken international law.

Chevron and Texaco Petroleum Co. won their case at the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague after Ecuador was found to have violated international law by delaying rulings on commercial disputes with Texaco.

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"This ruling confirms that Ecuador can be held accountable for its obligations under international law," said Hewitt Pate, Chevron vice president and general counsel, in a statement. "Since Ecuador's politicized court system has failed to provide impartial tribunals and due process, Chevron has had to seek international remedies."

Chevron had accused Ecuador of taking money from Texaco through its partnership with state-owned oil company PetroEcuador, online news agency Upstream reports.

The case is separate from a lawsuit concerning Texaco's work in the country from 1964 to 1992. Chevron bought the company in 2001. Indigenous and environmental groups in that case blame the supermajor for rampant environmental pollution in the Latin American country.

Chevron in its statements on the recent judgment said the court system in Ecuador is notoriously corrupt.

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A court in Ecuador ruled in February that Chevron has to pay $18 billion in damages for environmental pollution.

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