Authorities have certain rights when investigating potential crimes. The law is designed to ensure that investigating authorities have access to accurate information. Those who intentionally mislead investigators can face serious legal consequences and can be charged with a crime. The former executive of an oil company could be forced to continue his criminal defense efforts if he is charged with obstruction of a federal investigation in Louisiana.
The possible criminal charges stem from allegations that the former executive of the oil company had hidden pertinent information regarding an explosion at an oil rig in 2010. The oil rig accident resulted in the deaths of 11 workers approximately 50 miles off the coast of Louisiana. The incident also caused significant environmental damage.
Prosecutors are alleging that the former executive had failed to disclose correct information regarding the approximate rate at which oil was spilling from the oil company’s damaged oil well. The alleged misinformation by the former executive supposedly occurred during a congressional briefing in early May 2010. Prosecutors are also accusing the former executive of giving misleading information in his response to a letter sent by a subcommittee chairman. The court recently ruled that the former executive could be charged as a result of his failure to disclose accurate information.
On the other hand, the former executive has the right to defend himself in the court of law in Louisiana if he is charged with a crime. However, a strong criminal defense strategy will require knowledge of criminal law. He will also have to follow the correct legal procedures during litigation. Additionally, understanding the court rules of evidence will also be helpful.
Source: The New Orleans Advocate, "Court rules former BP executive can be tried on obstruction charge", Kevin McGill, July 1, 2014