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Nation

Ex-BP exec takes stand — on videotape

| Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013, 9:21 p.m.

NEW ORLEANS — Once the object of ridicule and focus of outrage after the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, former BP chief executive Tony Hayward made a cameo appearance on Wednesday in a trial to decide how much blame the company must shoulder for the disaster.

Hayward didn't attend in person. Instead, he was showed on a videotape in perhaps his only appearance in the courtroom.

Hayward, who famously said “I'd like my life back” at the height of the spill, isn't expected to take the witness stand in the high-stakes trial. Hayward testified in person before Congress and gave a videotaped deposition for this trial, but his role may be limited here by his lack of direct knowledge of the drilling operations on the Deepwater Horizon.

Still, attorneys for the federal government and Gulf Coast residents and businesses showed a snippet of his deposition, projecting the video on a large white screen in the courtroom. The attorneys have said the London-based company bears most of the blame for the spill, and they accused BP of putting profits ahead of safety by cutting corners on a project that was over budget and behind schedule.

Hayward said in the videotape that cost-cutting measures in the years before the 2010 spill did not have an effect on drilling operations, comments that differed from excerpts of a videotaped deposition from Kevin Lacy, who served as BP's senior vice president for drilling operations in the gulf before resigning several months before the spill.

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