The Department of Justice has scapegoated Robert Kaluza and Donald Vidrine for the Gulf oil crime, according to their defense attorneys, who say the two well site leaders will plead not guilty.
Attorneys of well site leaders Robert Kaluza and Donald Vidrine say their clients are scapegoats and will plead not guilty.
Gulf operation cover up and human rights violations continue
“Every investigative report has said there were multiple failures at multiple levels at multiple companies,” said Shaun Clarke, Kaluza’s attorney. “So it is difficult for me to understand why the federal government decided to single out two guys working on a rig.”
“It is almost inconceivable that any fair-minded person would blame this hardworking and diligent man for one of the most catastrophic events in the history of the oil business,” remarked Vidrine’s attorney Bob Habans.
Someone put Kaluza on the rig at the last minute before the explosion. Someone ordered him to conduct the operation the way he did, according to testimonies soon after the explosion.
Neither Kaluza nor Vidrine have ever testified, pleading their right to remain silent.
“Only if we can get the people to focus on Kaluza can there be real justice,” former oil executive Ian Crane told Dupré in August 2011. “He was placed there on the rig the night of April 16th to make this happen.”
The explosion immediately killed eleven men and triggered a series of events that led to tens of thousands of victims suffering unusual injuries and diseases of which an untold number of people did not survive.
(See: BP billion dollar case blacks out Gulf victims suffering most)
“So far, Kaluza and Vidrine are the only individuals facing criminal charges for the blowout itself,” the Washington Post reports. “At the corporate level, BP has agreed to plead guilty to multiple counts of manslaughter, admitting to simple negligence but not gross negligence — a key distinction in the legal battle.
“The plea deal was reached after extensive negotiations between BP attorneys and the Justice Department’s criminal division, as well as negotiations with the Securities and Exchange Commission.”
A remaining multibillion-dollar civil case against the company grinds toward a Feb. 25 trial date, a multi-jurisdictional case involving federal and state claims and more private lawsuits.
U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier, a Bill Clinton appointee, is presiding over the entire affair in New Orleans.
Deborah Dupré is author of the new book, “Vampire of Macondo,” packed with censored stories about the BP-wrecked Macondo Prospect in the Gulf of Mexico that continues causing catastrophic human and environmental devastation. Follow the Vampire of Macondo tour on Twitter. For interviews, email email@example.com.