Lawyer who sued Chevron sentenced to six months in contempt case

By Sebastien Malo

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A disbarred American lawyer who spent decades battling Chevron Corp over pollution in the Ecuadorian rainforest was sentenced to six months' imprisonment for criminal contempt charges arising from a lawsuit brought by the oil company.

U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska sentenced Steven Donziger after finding him guilty in May of "willfully" defying court orders, including by failing to turn over his computer and other electronic devices.

"It seems that only the proverbial two-by-four between the eyes will instill in him any respect for the law," she said.

Donziger's lawyers did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Chevron did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The private lawyers serving as prosecutors for the United States did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

(Reporting by Sebastien Malo in New York; Editing by Noeleen Walder and Matthew Lewis)