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Former BP engineer pleads not guilty to charges of obstructing justice over Gulf of Mexico oil spill

05-04-2012 09:00 BJT

HOUSTON, May 3 (Xinhua) -- A former BP engineer who faced first criminal charges over the Gulf of Mexico oil spill on Thursday pleaded not guilty to charges that he destroyed evidence related to the oil spill.

Fifty-five-year-old Kurt Mix pleaded not guilty to charges that he deleted hundreds of text messages to a supervisor and a contractor to prevent them from being used in a federal grand jury probe of the 2010 BP disaster that killed 11 workers and unleashed the worst oil spill in the U.S., according to ABC news.

Mix faces two counts of obstruction of justice, the first criminal charges in the U.S. investigation of the BP spill.

A federal grand jury in New Orleans on Wednesday indicted Mix on charges of obstructing justice.

In another development on Wednesday, BP won preliminary court approval of an estimated 7.8 billion U.S. dollars settlement to resolve more than 100,000 claims by individuals and businesses stemming from the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

The settlement comprises two agreements, including one that covers economic and property claims and one covering medical claims.

A hearing for final approval of the settlement was set for No. 8.

The April 20, 2010 blowout of BP's Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico triggered an explosion that killed 11 rig workers and unleashed the worst oil spill in U.S. history.

Editor:Wang Lingfei |Source: Xinhua

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