BP workers plead not guilty to manslaughter in US oil spill
NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana (AFP) - Two BP supervisors pleaded not guilty on Wednesday to manslaughter charges for failing to prevent a deadly blast that killed 11 workers and unleashed a massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
Lawyers for Robert Kaluza, 62, and Donald Vidrine, 65 - the highest-ranking BP supervisors onboard the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig at the time of the deadly blast - have argued they are being treated as scapegoats.
Meanwhile, former senior BP executive David Rainey also pleaded not guilty Wednesday to obstruction of justice charges for lying about how much oil was gushing out of the runaway well.
A presidential commission tasked with investigating the worst environmental disaster to strike the United States spread the blame for the deadly blast and cited BP and its subcontractors for shoddy work, poor management and risky shortcuts.