BP's Cement Contractor Denies Destroying Evidence

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BP's cement contractor on the drilling rig that exploded in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 says its recent discovery of missing cement samples was the result of a "simple misunderstanding," not an attempt to withhold crucial evidence.

In a court filing Tuesday, Halliburton attorneys accuse BP of trying to create a "sideshow" during an ongoing trial over the deadly disaster. They also argue BP PLC is trying to deflect attention from its own actions that led to the nation's worst offshore oil spill.

Last week, BP asked U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier to sanction Halliburton for allegedly destroying evidence that could have been used at trial.

Halliburton discovered cement samples this month at a Lafayette laboratory that weren't turned over to the Justice Department for testing after the spill.