Ex BP engineer requests appearance waiver in US Deepwater case

01 April 2013 20:47  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Former BP engineer Kurt Mix filed a request on Monday to waive his appearance at his arraignment on Wednesday, which now alleges that he destroyed voice mails in addition to text messages related to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Once again, Mix plans to plead not guilty.

Mix was originally indicted and arraigned in May 2012, when he pleaded not guilty to two counts of obstruction of justice. The superseding indictment broadens one of the counts but contains no new charges.

“Having already been arraigned once on the charges contained in the superseding indictment and having already pled not guilty on those charges, requiring Mix to travel from his home in Katy, Texas, to New Orleans, [Louisiana] for the arraignment would serve no purpose,” the motion said.

According to court documents, Mix was a senior member of the BP team that developed and executed strategies for stopping the flow of oil from the Macondo well after the blowout.

He was charged on two counts of obstruction of justice for allegedly deleting hundreds of text messages in the relief effort and data collection.

Last month, a superseding indictment broadened the second count to include deleted voicemails made to Mix’s supervisor and an outside contractor.

According to the court documents, Mix allegedly deleted on 20 August 2011 at least nine voicemails on his iPhone, including those from his supervisor and the contractor. Prior to that, he allegedly deleted about 350 voicemails, including 40 from his supervisor and 15 from the contractor.

Relating to the Deepwater Horizon disaster, BP is still in court for the federal civil trial that began in February to determine if the UK energy giant was “grossly negligent” in the events leading up to the explosion and oil spill.

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By: Tracy Dang
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