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TORONTO — A lawyer for Ecuadorian villagers says oil behemoth Chevron needs no protection from potential legal costs.

He is telling Ontario’s top court that ordering the Indigenous villagers to come up with cash before they can appeal an earlier ruling presents them with a huge barrier to justice.

The villagers want to challenge a decision that Chevron Canada isn’t liable for claims against its U.S.-based parent.

Chevron wants $943,000 up front as a security against its legal costs if the villagers lose their appeal.

Chevron refuses to accept a US$9.5-billion judgment against it handed down in Ecuador in 2013 over serious environmental damage.

The villagers want Canadian courts to enforce the judgment, which Chevron argues was obtained fraudulently.

The Canadian Press

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