Former BP engineer's trial in Deepwater Horizon case pushed to Dec

10 June 2013 16:50  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--The trial that was set to begin on Monday, accusing a former BP engineer of destroying voicemails and text messages related to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, has been rescheduled for 2 December.

Kurt Mix is charged with two counts of obstruction of justice and is alleged to have deleted 346 voice messages, including 41 from a supervisor and 16 from a contractor, between 20 April 2010 and 20 August 2011.

US forensic experts have only been able to recover some of those voice messages, and the defence argued that there is no way to determine the actual date of those messages or whether they were relevant to Mix’s charges.

Last week, a federal judge granted most of the defence’s claims, including the possibility that some of the voice messages were automatically deleted by AT&T when Mix failed to back-up his data before upgrading this iPhone operating system.

Separately, a former BP executive and two on-site supervisors are also facing criminal charges related to the Deepwater Horizon incident.

BP is also preparing for the second phase of the federal civil trial, which determines liability and penalties from the incident.

Already, BP has agreed to a $4bn (€3bn) criminal settlement, as well as a $525m civil settlement for claims made by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

The company has also reached an economic- and property-damage settlement with several people and businesses who sued the company following the spill, with claim payouts totalling over $8.7bn.

($1 = €0.76)

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By: Tracy Dang
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