Lawyers request federal prosecutors to explain how their client, a former BP engineer, managed to delete text messages with the company’s response to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.
Kurt Mix’s attorneys declared that the majority of the texts which were deleted are irrelevant to Mix’s work on BP’s effort to stop the flow of oil from its blown-out Macondo well.
“Even the handful of deleted text messages that might be viewed as pertaining to the incident are so substantively insignificant that it is virtually impossible for Mix to ascertain which of them might form the basis for each obstruction count,” Mix’s lawyers wrote.
Prosecutors accuse Mix of deliberately deleting over 200 text messages from his supervisor and contractor to prevent them from being used in the grand jury’s probe of the spill. The FBI’s investigations show that one of the messages mix deleted proved that BP’s blown-out well was spewing a lot more oil than the company publicly declared.
Kurt Mix was arrested on April 24th, but afterwards freed on $100,000 bond. On May 3rd he pleaded not guilty to two counts of obstruction of justice, each punishable by a $250,000 fine and 20 years in prison. Mix’s trial will begin in February 2013.