Ex-BP exec recharged with obstruction in Deepwater Horizon case

20 June 2013 22:53  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Former BP executive David Rainey was arraigned on Thursday on a superseding indictment that charges him with obstruction of justice in connection with the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

A federal grand jury issued the new indictment on Wednesday, one month after a federal judge dismissed the charge because a US House of Representatives subcommittee failed to allege knowledge of a pending Congressional investigation and because the law did not apply to subcommittee investigations.

The superseding indictment adds language alleging that Rainey did know about the pending congressional investigation and specially accuses Rainey of obstructing an investigation by the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

The indictment also realleged the previous charge that Rainey made false statements to law enforcement officials during the investigation into the oil spill.

Additionally, a federal grand jury issued a new superseding indictment against former BP engineer Kurt Mix for allegedly deleting phone messages about the company’s response efforts following the oil spill.

The first indictment claimed Mix deleted more than 300 voicemails, and an updated indictment added language to include deleted text messages.

Earlier this month, a federal judge ruled that only three messages could be referenced in court – a  voicemail from a BP supervisor, a voicemail from a contractor and a call that went through BP’s general switchboard.

Mix’s arraignment is scheduled for 25 June, and his trial is set for 2 December.

Separately, two onsite 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 = €0.75)

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By: Tracy Dang
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