LETTER FAXED TO MALAYSIAN HIGH COURT JUDGE 5 July 2004
The Honourable Justice
Dato' Azmel bin Haji Maamor
HIGH COURT OF MALAYA
Bangunan Sultan Abdul
5 PAGES BY FAX ONLY TO: 00 60 3 26932582
RE: SUIT NO. S2-23-41-2004 AMENDED ORDER 29 JUNE 2004
EIGHT ROYAL DUTCH SHELL COMPANIES –v- DR HUONG YIU TUONG
I am writing to bring to your attention my major involvement in matters relating to the above law suit. For reasons which I can only speculate about, Shell has not made me a party to the litigation.
I am the sole owner, operator and publisher of the website shell2004.com on which most of the alleged defamatory comments about Shell (cited in the law suit documents) were posted.
The majority of the cited alleged defamatory comments were in fact authored by me. Dr Huong used extracts from comments authored by me which were already posted on my website. In addition, because of language difficulties, I authored most of the comments attributed to Dr Huong after being briefed by him.
Although as a UK national I do not fall within the jurisdiction of your honourable Court, I have at the request of Dr Huong entirely removed from my website the alleged defamatory comments previously published by me on web pages I made available to Dr Huong. I have posted in place of that information a disclaimer supplied by Dr Huong plus the court documents; Writ, Statement of Claim etc. I have also posted a response to Dr Huong.
Entirely at my own
initiative, I have made the alleged defamatory postings available on email
request and have already met the demand for copies. Shell has in fact by its
actions vastly increased website traffic. By way of background information, the
website was set up at the beginning of 2004 to provide the world’s most
comprehensive independently operated news and information portal focused on the
Royal Dutch Shell Group.
I note from the court documents that the website is consistently described by Shell’s lawyers as the “website Shell Whistleblower No 2”. With the greatest respect to whoever drafted the legal papers, this is misleading as Shell is well aware that the website is “Shell2004.com”. I merely devoted a few pages to Dr Huong out of several hundred published on my website.
Again with respect, it is also misleading for Shell to base much of its case on the contention that the Royal Dutch Shell Group and the brand name “Shell” have a high reputation. In the interests of justice Your Honour I respectfully invite you to visit my website and scan through the Shell news headlines of recent months. In particular, please read the news reports posted on it yesterday, Sunday 4th July 2004. You will be able to draw your own conclusions.
I have reprinted just the headlines below: -
The Observer: Bad publicity - not goodbye, but good buy: “Shell illustrates how a steady barrage of negative publicity can bring a company to its knees”: “The company's reputation is now in tatters”
The Observer: Counting the wrong beans: 'At some stage something happened to Shell's values that made it acceptable to put up figures that weren't completely above board,'
The Observer: British firms escape abuse lawsuits: “One of the allegations that is still likely to get a hearing is a high-profile case against Shell that claims that the oil giant colluded in Nigeria's brutal oppression of Ogoni villagers”
News Leader.com: Shell admits overstating its profits: "also made errors in the way it accounted for exploration costs, certain gas contracts and earnings per share of its parent companies"
Sunday Telegraph: BP reserves the right to go its own way: “in the wake of the scandal at Royal Dutch/Shell”
THE BUSINESS: CASE BUILDS AGAINST SHELL: Shell’s embattled former and present management may have less than a month before new allegations are released.
THE BUSINESS: Shell shareholders fail to put foot down
over vital reforms: "any sense Oxburgh hoped to give of the smooth functioning
of the two-board system was undermined by the two chairman’s differing answers
on when the company’s non-executive directors had known about the reserves
Shell’s action in issuing a Writ based on damage to its reputation is unbelievably bad timing on their part, as the first Observer article contains two survey lists relating to brand/company reputation. The top 10 and the worst ten; Shell is top of the “Worst” list. In other words, it now has the WORST reputation of any company. How can you damage a vehicle which has already been crushed? Frankly it is laughable (but not to Dr Huong) for Shell to issue such proceedings when its reputation is at an all time low.
This is due to the oil and gas reserves understatement which has resulted in the recent departure of three Group Managing Directors including the Chairman of Royal Dutch Shell, Sir Philip Watts. Shell is beset by class action law suits and investigations by various regulatory authorities in the USA, the UK and The Netherlands.
The new Chairman of the Committee of Managing Directors Mr Jeroem van der Veer has admitted to being shocked, dismayed and ashamed at what has happened to Shell. You will find a catalogue of admissions by senior Shell management posted on the website. The comments attributed to Dr Huong are entirely in line with similar comments published by numerous newspapers, magazines and the broadcast media.
The question therefore arises of why eight different Shell companies have joined together to sue one individual, a former Shell geologist of almost 30 years standing. Particularly when they base their case mainly on alleged damage to Shell’s reputation, which in reality, is already in tatters. Is it because he is a financially weak opponent compared with media giants, or is Shell, as some newspapers have recently claimed, a multinational in denial; or is there a more sinister ulterior motive?
Within 2 hours of deleting the website postings attributed to Dr Huong, I was contacted by Mr Steven J. Peitler, an investigator from the New York law firm, Bernstein Liebhard & Lifshitz LLP. They act for the lead Plaintiff, the Pennsylvania State Pension Fund, in the largest US class action multi-million dollar law suit being brought against the Royal Dutch Shell Group and named current and former directors.
Mr Peitler urgently wanted to make contact with Dr Huong to discuss his knowledge as a Shell geologist of matters relating to the Shell reserves scandal. Mr Peitler said that Shell had a track record for cutting off his lines of enquiry. They apparently have a talent for silencing/neutralising potential witnesses just before Mr Peitler tries to make contact. It appears that this may have happened again.
Unbeknown to Shell, Mr Huong had fortunately already supplied me with some written comments on the reserves debacle. Thus I was at least able to email at the request of Mr Peitler copies of the deleted website postings and supply him with other documents by fax. Mr Peitler is now even keener to speak to Dr Huong.
Bearing in mind that most of the comments quoted in the court papers were authored by me and the website is my website, shell2004.com, not “Shell Whistleblower No2”, and that I alone am the owner/publisher of the website, I would respectfully suggest that Shell should sue me. I note that one of the Shell companies named in the law suit is based in the UK, so that seems convenient. Under the circumstances, if they do not sue me Your Honour, you will know something is amiss.
I would welcome the opportunity to face Shell in the libel courts. I possess a volume of incontrovertible documentary evidence concerning the “con-artist mentality of Shell management” (my phrase not Dr Huongs’) and of a deeply ingrained corporate culture of cover-up and deceit at the highest levels of the Royal Dutch Shell Group.
I would also like to deal in open court with Shell’s involvement in sinister undercover activities targeted at Shell’s perceived enemies. Shell has already admitted that its agents infiltrated and betrayed targeted NGO’s including Greenpeace, but there is more to expose. I have letters from Shell admitting that they used undercover agents when my family last sued Shell. The relevant High Court trial was completely undermined by undercover agents who intimidated witnesses. By coincidence or otherwise the homes of our solicitor, a key witness and our own home were all burgled in the run up to the trial and relevant documents examined.
At the time neither I nor the Police were aware that Shell directors were also major shareholders and directors in a sinister commercial intelligence spy firm, Hakluyt & Company Limited set up by former senior officers of MI6 (the British Secret Service). A titled Shell director was Chairman of Hakluyt & Company Limited and another titled Shell director was President of the Hakluyt Foundation, which is supposed to perform an oversight function in regards to the activities of Hakluyt undercover agents. In other words until recently, Shell directors were the spymasters of Hakluyt.
My family and I have in fact sued Shell in the UK High Court on six different occasions, four times for breach of contract/breach of confidence and twice for libel. The score thus far is 4 wins (with Shell paying several hundred thousand pounds in damages) and no losses.
Your Honour, I hope the above information is of assistance in clarifying matters and giving you an insight into these strange, dare I say it bizarre, events, with huge sums of money at stake. One leading US lawyer has estimated that his firms’ class action claim against Shell will be for $15 billion US dollars. High stakes indeed.
DISCLAIMER POSTED ON WEBSITE
HIGH COURT WRIT ISSUED BY EIGHT SHELL COMPANIES AGAINST FORMER SHELL GEOLOGIST, DR JOHN HUONG IN RELATION TO THIS WEBSITE SHELL2004.com
COURT ORDER/INJUNCTION/RESTRAINING ORDER
POSTED 2 JULY 2004
EMAIL RECEIVED BY DR JOHN HUONG
Court Order and Removal of Postings at www.shell2004.com
"In accordance with this Writ and Court order I, Dr. John Huong Yiu Tuong, confirm that I am no longer posting any materials at the website Shell2004.com. Any reference to Shell, its management and officials, in particular to Shell Malaysia will be the sole responsibility of the owner/operator of the website, Mr Alfred Donovan. I have notified Mr Donovan in writing to remove from his website all information supplied by me. I have further informed him that he has no authority to act, speak, publish or take any action on my behalf.
Although I am grateful for the facility Mr Donovan has previously provided, strict compliance with this Court Order is foremost to my case. I have therefore asked him to respect the Court Order and my express instructions/wishes in this important matter.”
Thank you for your cooperation.
Dr. John Huong Yiu Tuong
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