Bay Area newspapers have been a buzz over the past week regarding the latest video of Ecuador Judge Juan Nunez, the key legal figure in the Chevron Ecuador environmental damage case, who has been captured in a video stating that he plans to rule against the oil giant and for an award of $27 billion "more or less".

The San Francisco Chronicle’s blog covered it here.

The San Francisco Examiner weighed in with an editorial, “Video from Chevron reveals corruption in Ecuador lawsuit,” here.

The Chronicle carries the full text and videos. A picture is worth a thousand words so take a look. Here is the text of what Judge Nunez said to Wayne Hansen and Diego Borja who are environmental remediation contractors –

Nunez: "Any other questions for me as a judge?"

Hansen: "Oh no, I, I know clearly how it is, you say, Chevron is the guilty party?"

Nunez: "Yes Sir."

Hansen: "And the, the, the act (decision) is October or November of this year?"

Nunez: "Yes Sir."

Hansen: "And it’s…?"

Nunez: "No later than January."

Hansen: "January 2010. And the money is twenty-seven (billion dollars)?"

Nunez: "It might be less, and it might be more."

The second part of the video has Patricio Garcia, an operative who’s reportedly a member of Ecuador’s ruling party, asking for $3 million in bribes: $1 million for Judge Nunez, $1 million for the plaintiffs suing Chevron and $1 million for the presidency.

You can also see the video at the Chevron Ecuador site.

Chevron has also been posting news, video and original commentary to its blog dedicated to combating the lawsuit, Chevron’s latest news and information on this unfolding saga can be found there.

In a major development on Friday, September 04, 2009, Judge Nunez announced that he will step down from the Chevron case, following the launch of a government investigation into the allegations of corruption. Chevron is insisting that Judge Nunez’ previous rulings be annulled, that the evidence brought forth in the trial has been deeply flawed, and that political interference from Ecuador President Rafael Correa’s administration has created an environment in which it is impossible for the company to receive a fair trial.

Stay tuned for what happens next.