A tribal leader of the indigenous Secoya people of Ecuador's northern Amazon rainforest at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington on May 19, 2011.
Umberto Piaguaje, a leader of Ecuador's indigenous Secoya people, holds up a letter at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, on May 19, 2011. The letter denounces environmental damage allegedly caused by Chevron in his homeland. Reuters

A New York appeals court has lifted a ban on the $18bn judgment against the oil giant, Chevron for alleged environment damage in the Amazon area in Ecuador.

In February an Ecuadorean court had issued an $18.2 billion judgment to Chevron Corp. over alleged oil damage in the Amazon region, to which the company appealed.

In March a federal judge in a U.S court in New York put up on a ban barring the Ecuadorean plaintiffs from acquiring Chevron's assets outside of the country. The ban was lifted on Monday by he Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, putting the case in New York on hold until later this year.

Since the court has been criticized for acting too fast. Chevron abused the law, and Judge Kaplan rushed to judgment without considering the overwhelming evidence against the oil giant, said Karen Hinton, spokeswoman for the plaintiffs, in a statement.

The Plaintiffs lawyer, Pablo Fajardo. expressed his happiness with the latest developments. He told the Associated Press that they could now at least dream that there would be justice and compensation for the damage, the environmental crime, committed by Chevron in Ecuador.

In response Chevron said they were disappointed that the trial scheduled for November had been stayed, but explained that they remain committed to its consistent goal-obtaining judicial review on the merits of the Ecuadorian plaintiffs' lawyers' fraud before they are allowed to attempt enforcement of the Ecuadorian judgment.

Chevron remains confident that once the full facts are examined, the fraudulent judgment will be found unenforceable and those who procured it will be required to answer for their misconduct, the company said

Residents of the Ecuadorian rainforest claim the Chevron owned oil giant, Texaco is responsible for hazardous waste dumped on indigenous land in the 1970s and 80s. Chevron denies the claims saying it cleaned up the wasted before handing over the site to the state-owned oil company Petro Ecuador.

Meanwhile, last month an international arbitration said Ecuador must pay $96m to Chevron because Ecuador's courts had violated international law through their delays in resolving commercial disputes involving Texaco, the Guardian Reported.