Royal Dutch Shell Group .com
ROYAL DUTCH SHELL IMPRISONMENT PROCEEDINGS AGAINST DR. HUONG: PART TWO: 24 March 2006
By Alfred Donovan
Published below is a further section from the NOTICE TO SHOW CAUSE served on 15 March 2006 on Shell Whistleblower Dr John Huong by solicitors acting for the EIGHT Royal Dutch Shell companies collectively suing him for alleged defamation (relating to postings on this website).
The NOTICE TO SHOW CAUSE basically notified the Defendant, Dr Huong of the intention to issue contempt of court proceedings and gave him 10 days in which to provide evidence why he should not be imprisoned or fined for the alleged contempt.
Since I am named in the proceedings and have played the key role in the various internet publications at the heart of the case, I have been asked by Dr Huong and his lawyers to supply an Affidavit testifying to the facts. Part of my draft Affidavit is published below.
PART TWO OF NOTICE TO SHOW CAUSE ARTICLE (PARAGRAPH'S 2, 3 & 4) SERVED ON DR HUONG.
2. You disobeyed the Order by publishing or causing to be published, the following:
The 29.1.06 publication of your Defence on the Shellnews.net website
3. You forwarded a copy of your Defence to Alfred Donovan with the knowledge that he would publish it on his website at ShellNews.net, which he did. Alfred Donovan was, for this purpose, your servant or agent.
DRAFT COMMENTS OF ALFRED DONOVAN
As indicated I have never been the agent or servant of any third party in my dealings with Shell. The same applies to my son John.
We have assisted a number of parties who contacted us, including the WWF (formally known as the World Wildlife Fund), The Ecumenical Council for Corporate Responsibility, the U.S. Public Interest Research Group, and the New York lawyers Bernstein Liebhard & Lifshitz, LLP acting for the lead Plaintiffs in a U.S. class action lawsuit against Royal Dutch Shell plc (and others) in respect of the reserves fraud.
In each case our assistance has involved us posting/publishing information on my websites. We have never charged any of these parties or anyone else a penny. Everything we do in in regard to my websites is completely free. I take full responsibly for everything published. We have declined to publish negative commentary against Shell when deemed inappropriate by us. Dr Huong has never been in a position of knowing that we will automatically publish any material he shares with us. The same applied to the Defence document. The fact of the matter is that Dr Huong does not own or operate a website and has no guarantee that we will publish anything.
The WWF, U.S. PIRG and the ECCR all appealed through the medium of my websites for Shell shareholders to support resolutions to be put to Shell shareholders at the Royal Dutch Shell Plc AGM in May 2006. The ECCR was successful in recruiting more than the required 100 shareholders and the relevant resolution has been accepted by Royal Dutch Shell Plc. I hope that my websites generated some of this support.
Mr Zack Brown, a representative from U.S. PIRG was in the UK a few weeks ago. My son John and I met Mr Brown at Lloyds Registrars in Worthing in an unsuccessful attempt to assist in the purchase of stock in Royal Dutch Shell Plc. We also corresponded with Royal Dutch Shell Plc in relation to U.S. PIRG but made it clear that we had no authority to speak for the organisation.
With regard to the class action, Bernstein Liebhard & Lifshitz has confirmed that my website successfully generated a shareholder, Mr Peter M Wood, to act as a representative of all non-U.S. Shell shareholders in the class action. As a result, a motion has been filed with the appropriate U.S. District Court.
We are happy to assist anyone who shares our aspirations that Royal Dutch Shell Management should abide with Shell’s STATEMENT OF GENERAL BUSINESS PRINCIPLES which include honesty, integrity, transparency, and respect for people in all of Shell’s dealings.
Being a great company with over 100,000 employees, there are bound to be some bad apples from time to time. It has been unfortunate for Shell stakeholders that the bad apples have on occasion been in the most senior management positions.
11 out of the 15 member Board of Directors of the new unified company Royal Dutch Shell Plc are tainted by what the Chairman of the US Securities & Exchange Commission, Mr Christopher Cox, has branded as a fraud (the Shell reserves debacle). Mr Cox has described the fraud as being on a par with the Enron, WorldCom, Global Crossing, Tyco, Vivendi and Parmalat scandals (FT article 7 October). All 11 current directors of Royal Dutch Shell Plc are named Defendants in a US Class Action lawsuit brought by the UNITE National Retirement Fund and the Plumbers and Pipefitters National Pension Fund. The lawsuit names 27 directors and officers of Royal Dutch/Shell. The suit accuses Shell executives of breach of duties to shareholders, abuse of control, mismanagement, fraud and unjust enrichment. Shell has already agreed to settle the lawsuit for $9.2 million (USD). Although Shell officially denies any wrongdoing, the settlement amounts to a tacit admittance of misdeeds. Shell management has also agreed to changes in respect of corporate structure and governance, including business ethics.
Dr Huong relied to an extent on our judgement as to what was safe to publish. He did so in the knowledge that we are veterans in conducting litigation with Shell. I doubt if anyone has as much experience, with over half a dozen court cases involving Shell. Consequently we have had a huge amount of experience in dealing with Shell lawyers and know that they routinely indulge in bluff, threats and basically any underhand trick associated with lawyers and litigation, including using undercover agents and dubious tactics to drain the resources of a financially weaker opponent. Litigation with Shell is not an exercise for the faint hearted. Time will tell whether it was wise or foolish for Dr Huong to pay any heed to our advice.
I asked Dr Huong to confirm with his lawyer that the Defence document was in the public domain. It was only after that confirmation was obtained that Dr Huong supplied me with a copy. My decision to post it on the website was perfectly proper. I thought our readers would be interested and they were.
Dr Huong did not publish the Defence nor did he authorise its publication. I published it and accept responsibility for so doing.
If documents are in the public domain, such as the Statement of Claim, the Defence and the REPLY filed by the Plaintiff companies, then we would publish as we have done without giving too much consideration, other than whether visitors to our websites would find the information to be of interest.
According to Shell General Counsel, Mr Richard Wiseman, formally Secretary of the Royal Dutch Shell Group Committee of Managing Directors, there is nothing wrong with publishing a document which is already in the public domain. In this connection we have printed below self explanatory email correspondence in September 2001 with Mr Wiseman.
Email from Richard Wiseman to John Donovan: 17 September 2001
Dear Mr Donovan
I have not had time to read your email as fully as it deserves, but I take it that you would prefer that I did not send a copy of the judge's remarks to your nephew. I will of course respect your wishes. I explained the reason for my not having read the settlement agreement before I offered to send your nephew what is, after all, a public document.
For your information Mr Miller was never in court.
Reply Email from John Donovan 17 September 2001
Dear Mr Wiseman
I note your comments about Mr Miller. Although the gentleman in Court bore a remarkable likeness to Mr Miller, I do of course accept your word that I was mistaken.
I also note your statement that the transcript is a public document. How would Shell have reacted if I had used any of the massive volume of documentary information about the Shell litigation in the public domain to denigrate Shell, not by supplying the information directly but in the same devious way that you have? Again we both know the answer. Shell would have come down on me like a ton of bricks. The agreement did not permit any party to use any such information to denigrate another party to the agreement, which is precisely what you did.
Let’s be honest Mr Wiseman. The way that you prefaced your offer to supply the transcript of the Judges remarks made it obvious that the remarks were extremely damaging to me, just as you intended.
Having reflected on the new situation in which we find ourselves, I will leave it to you to decide whether you wish to supply a copy of the Judge’s remarks to injini. Since the agreement is now invalid it is a matter entirely up to you.
REPLY FROM MR WISEMAN DATED 18 SEPT 2001
Dear Mr Donovan
There has been no breach and I don't intend that there should be any.
I do not recall your ever having withheld from the public anything that you thought would further your cause.
REPLY FROM JOHN DONOVAN TO RICHARD WISEMAN 18 SEPT 2001
Dear Mr Wiseman
The agreement ended as a result of your vindictive nature and your incompetence.
I have this morning taken the domain name shell-shareholders.org (I will forward you a copy of the invoice).
Although you have damaged my prospects with injini, I at least have the satisfaction of knowing that I am again able to exercise my basic human rights of free expression – consequently the truth will now emerge. You can expect nothing less than my customary vigor.
AND OF EMAIL CORRESPONDENCE
Copies of further correspondence on the matter are available on request. However, Mr Wiseman never backed down from his position in respect of court documents which are already in the public domain; the exact opposite position which Shell is taking in regard to the publication of the Defence document which is already in the public domain, as is the Plaintiffs REPLY which we have also published.
EXTRACT FROM DRAFT AFFIDAVIT ENDS
BACKGROUND INFORMATION REGARDING THE "JUDGES REMARKS" (NOT RELEVANT TO THE DR HUONG CASE)
The Judges remarks referred to above were recorded in a transcript entitled "Judges Comments". The Judge in question, then known as Mr Justice Laddie, made some totally unexpected, unfounded, inexplicable and blatantly biased comments against my son. His comments are recorded in the transcript.
It also recorded the blazing exchange which the Judge had in open court with my sons barrister Geoffrey Cox (now an MP and QC). We were subsequently given an account of the row between Mr Justice Laddie and Mr Cox which continued into the Judges chambers. It was only in chambers that the Judge learnt the truth about the compromise settlement and other matters.
I consider the Judges behaviour in the latter part of the trial to have been bizarre. I base this on a transcript that I have obtained of the entire three week trial. To be fair the Judge was given entirely the wrong impression by the compromise settlement papers put before him for signature. One important document was not given to him - unbeknown to the Judge my son did in fact receive a secret settlement payment in addition to Shell paying his legal costs. So it was not the "stalemate" result announced in a so called "joint" press statement which was actually issued solely by Shell.
Mr Justice Laddie resigned suddenly last year in controversial circumstances still clouded in mystery. His judgement and behaviour were publicly called onto question by the UK national media. It is almost unknown for an English High Court Judge to resign. The reason he gave for his departure was later said by a close friend of his, Mr Tony Willoughby , not to be the true reason for his resignation.
Below are a small selection of the extraordinary news stories about Sir Hugh Laddie QC.
The Guardian: Naming and shaming is a con: “A former high court judge has publicly admitted to something which the legal world has been trying to hide for centuries - that judges having to decide cases sometimes have no idea what they're talking about. In some cases, it would have been "better to use a roulette wheel" than to have him deciding, confessed Sir Hugh Laddie.”: Monday February 27, 2006: READ
NewStatesman: Battle of the benches: “This summer Hugh Laddie, 59, declared his intention to leave the bench, citing "boredom" as his reason. He was the first judge in 35 years to resign voluntarily from the high court and therefore the first to breach the unwritten rule that judges are supposed to leave public office only when asked to go. A close barrister friend of his said last month that boredom had very little to do with his departure.”: Monday 5th December 2005: READ
The Lawyer.com: The judge who budged: “Laddie's final defining controversy came in June. He became the first judge to resign from the bench in 35 years.”: “If you don't enjoy a job, or you don't think you're doing it very well, you just leave.”: “Laddie that became unpopular with many IP lawyers who felt harshly judged in his court.”: “…his rants are driven by a passionate belief”: 12 October 2005: READ
Legal Week: The Bar: Laddie move prompts ban review: “Justice Laddie’s decision to become a consultant causes controversy”: “Friends of Mr Justice Laddie, the convivial senior judge of the Patents Court, had been sensing for some time that he was not his usual self.”: ”The move…, has stirred controversy because Laddie has breached the convention — now being reviewed by the Lord Chancellor, Lord Falconer — that judges either end their career on the Bench or go on to become arbitrators…”: 7 July 2005 Read the article
The Independent (UK): John Walsh: Tales of the city: “What is one to make of the behaviour of Sir Hugh Laddie, better known as Mr Justice Laddie…”: Posted Friday 24 June 2005: Read the article
I have discovered since the trial an amazing number of coincidences linking the trial Judge with Shell.
After being appointed as a High Court Judge, Mr Justice Laddie retained a strong commercial and personal link with his former law chambers, 8 New Square, and with members of the chambers. One member of chambers is Mr Tom Moody-Stuart, the barrister son of our then main protagonist, Sir Mark Moody-Stuart (at the time Group Chairman of the Royal Dutch Shell Group). It is important to note that the litigation had become personal to the extent that the Sir Mark had made a threat in a letter he sent to us. Furthermore, his wife, Lady Judy Moody-Stuart (mother of Tom) had bizarrely written a personal letter to me - an astonishing intervention. I wrote to the Judge on the subject of a potential conflict of interest in relation to the Tom Moody-Stuart connection some time after the trial but he refused to answer my questions. Instead I received a letter from solicitors acting for the Royal Dutch Shell Group (Kendall Freeman) threatening that the Judge could bring contempt proceedings against me. Sir Hugh Laddie still retains a relationship with the chambers. As of today's date, his name still appears on two web pages on the chambers website (on a commercial basis on one of the pages).
If the Judge knew Tom Moody-Stuart at the time of the trial (it seems highly unlikely that he didn't) then he should have either disclosed the possible prejudicial relationship or recused himself from hearing the case as he might in such circumstances have been subject to conscious or unconscious bias. This was an important question as my son and I had staked our houses and everything we owned on a fair trial before an independent impartial Judge. If we had known about any such relationship we would have been concerned about potential prejudice and conflict of interest. We would have insisted that a different Judge should hear the case.
I have subsequently discovered that the Judge has been a Council Member of The Foundation for Science & Technology alongside a Shell Director, Lord Oxburgh (subsequently appointed Chairman of Shell Transport and Trading Company plc). I do not know if the Lord Oxburgh relationship started after the court case.
Sir Hugh is now a consultant for Willoughby & Partners/Rouse Legal working for his long time "close friend", Tony Willoughby. The law firm boasts that Shell is a client. I sent an email to the company asking how long Shell has been a client. There was no response. This is in line with my approaches to Tom Moody-Stuart, Sir Mark, and the relevant law chambers; a universal wall of silence. Earlier this month, Sir Hugh Laddie was a guest speaker at an event co-chaired by Shell General Counsel Richard Wiseman: "In-house Counsel 2006" (held in London on 6th & 7th March. I wonder if my name came up in conversation? (Mr Wiseman represented Shell U.K. in court throughout the trial. He was also a Shell director at the time.)
It sure is a small world for some.
There were strange goings on in the trial including an ambush sprung on my son at the climax of his cross-examination by the barrister representing Shell, Mr Geoffrey Hobbs QC. Shell's lawyers claimed that a motorbike was on its way to the court with documentary evidence which would confirm allegations put to my son that he had forged evidence. The Judge went along with what was a complete fabrication: there was no messenger, no motorbike and no documents. It was a charade which the Judge allowed to be played out under his nose.
For anyone sufficiently intrigued, I have printed below a draft Open Letter to Sir Hugh Laddie.
AN OPEN LETTER FROM
ShellNews.net OWNER ALFRED DONOVAN TO THE FORMER HIGH COURT JUDGE, MR
JUSTICE LADDIE, C/O, HIS NEW EMPLOYERS: WILLOUGHBY & PARTNERS
FOR THE ATTN OF SIR HUGH LADDIE QC: THE MEDIA HAVE BEEN SCEPTICAL OVER THE REASON GIVEN FOR YOUR RESIGNATION. THEY HAVE RAISED QUESTIONS OVER YOUR JUDGEMENT, ETHICS AND BEHAVIOUR. DID YOU RESIGN FOR THE BIZARRE REASON GIVEN (BOREDOM) OR WERE YOU PUSHED?
In the summer of 1999 in your former role as Mr Justice Laddie you presided over a trial which for the reasons set out below can, in my humble opinion, only be described as a travesty of justice. I refer to my son’s High Court action: John Donovan –v- Shell UK Limited which took place in June/July 1999 (the Shell SMART case). I was a named party in the associated Counterclaim.
As you may be aware, I have campaigned for some time for answers to be given in response to my legitimate questions which stem from the trial. I wrote to the Lord Chancellor in May 2004 and have also sent a number of letters to Prime Minister Tony Blair. My local MP, Mr Bob Russell has also raised this matter at government minister level without ever receiving a satisfactory response.
Firstly, you expressed not the slightest interest in sinister pre-trial events despite the fact that Shell admitted responsibility for undercover activities as mentioned herein.
Secondly you allowed outrageous/improper underhand tactics by Shell lawyers to take place during the trial without apparently holding anyone to account.
Thirdly, I am puzzled by the blatant bias you displayed in the latter part of the trial. As far as I know (I am not a lawyer) a Judges function is to hear the evidence and at the conclusion of the trial, after ALL evidence has been heard, make a judgement over the issues in dispute. The SMART trial never reached that stage. It was settled while a key witness was still being cross- examined and testimony from several other witnesses was still pending. However you insisted on making a quasi-judgement on certain issues in the form of “Judges Comments”. Your unfortunate comments have predictably been exploited by Shell to a degree which has torpedoed the whole basis of the settlement, which in any event had been concluded in improper circumstances.
Even matters of fact were twisted in favour of the relevant Shell manager and therefore his then employer, Shell. There are a number of possible reasons which can explain conscious or unconscious bias, including undeclared prejudicial connections directly or indirectly with one of the parties involved in an action. I had already written to you on this subject while you were still a High Court Judge, but you refused to enter into correspondence presumably because that might have been improper. Now that there are no legal barriers of which I am aware, I would like to ask the same basic question, plus some additional ones.
POTENTIALLY PREJUDICIAL CONNECTIONS: At the time of the trial did you have any pre-existing potentially prejudicial connection with Shell, any Shell employee, the Moody-Stuart family, or with Lord Oxburgh, other than your participation in the Shell SMART scheme which you properly disclosed? I believe you know the reasons why I am asking this particular question. The court transcript proves that the name of Shell Chairman Mark Moody-Stuart was raised several times during the trial testimony and that my pre-trial correspondence with Lady Judy Moody-Stuart (instigated by her) was given to you (Trial transcript Page 5, 29 June 1999). If you personally knew any member of the Moody-Stuart family (e.g. the son of Sir Mark and Lady Judy – Tom Moody-Stuart), Lord Oxburgh, or Richard Wiseman, you should have disclosed this because of the potential for conscious or unconscious bias.
At the time of the trial Shell’s reputation was riding high despite earlier PR disasters e.g. Brent Spar and Shell’s disgraceful conduct in Nigeria. Now Shell is responsible for what has been described in the BBC Money Programme in terms of being the biggest investor fraud in history – a referral to the reserves scandal which has decimated Shell’s reputation. The scandal resulted from a corporate culture of deceit and cover-up. This thread of underhand conduct runs through all our dealings with Shell – a multinational goliath whose corrupting influence reaches far and wide.
Soon after I last wrote to you Sir Hugh in your capacity as a High Court Judge, I received a letter from Mr Colin Joseph of Kendall Freeman solicitors acting on behalf of the entire Royal Dutch Shell Group. Mr Joseph threatened that you could bring contempt proceedings against me. I don’t know whether you had any knowledge of that threat. I do know that you refused to answer my legitimate politely put questions, which is why I am writing again, now that you are no longer protected by any immunity and thus are unable to threaten contempt proceedings. I trust that Mr Tony Willoughby of Willoughby & Partners, your new employer, will not be upset by this letter being distributed outside his offices bearing in mind that he appears to be your unofficial (inept) PR spokesman – rather yours than mine.
My son and I put every penny we had into the David –v- Goliath action against Shell in the expectation of receiving a fair trial in the UK courts. Presumably you agree that the essential ingredients for a fair civil trial include no intimidation of witnesses, an equal weight of arms in terms of legal representation and of course a competent, independent, impartial Judge. I have some related questions.
THE ATTEMPT AT ENTRAPMENT: Both you and Geoffrey Hobbs QC were aware of or where participants in an attempt to entrap my son into admitting an extremely serious criminal offence – to use your own words “allegations of perjury, forgery and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice”. The premeditated ambush was sprung at the climax of his cross examination of my son on the third day of his giving evidence in the witness box. I use the term premeditated because what occurred was not a spur of the moment drama. It was instigated in court by Shell’s solicitors DJ Freeman (now known as Kendall Freeman), who would not have made such an extreme move without a go-head from their client - Shell (represented in court by Shell Legal Director, Richard Wiseman) As you may recall the totally fabricated outright deception by Shell lawyers involved a motorbike messenger supposedly bringing documentary evidence to court from J Sainsbury. In fact there was no messenger, no motorbike and no evidence on route. Counsel acting for my son interjected in the immediate run up to the attempted entrapment that what Geoffrey Hobbs QC was about to say was “unsafe and wrong”. Hobbs acknowledged that there was a risk of the trial being aborted but after you had indicated that you would not let this happen, he continued with the reprehensible charade. Your bizarre comment at this dramatic moment when the deception was being played out before you was recorded in the trial transcript.
MR JUSTICE LADDIE: “I have very acute hearing. I am deliberately not listening, but I am also immensely inquisitive and I am finding it hard.”
Others present in court were also listening and were witnesses to
the deception. Did you punish, reprimand or report anyone involved in what
appears to have been a conspiracy to deceive the court and the plaintiff in
the action i.e. pervert the course of justice? When Geoffrey Hobbs sprung the ambush he tellingly twice used
the magical term “materialise” (18 June 1999 – page 93). This suggests that
he knew that he was dealing with evidence which did not in fact exist. It
was pure trickery used in an entrapment attempt which would not even have
been permitted in a criminal court. Please see below for relevant extracts
from the trial transcript.
BLATANTLY BIASED “JUDGES COMMENTS”: Why did you make blatantly biased imprudent comments when the trial ended prematurely following a settlement between the parties? The comments you insisted on making (which cannot be appealed) planted the seeds of destruction in respect of the out-of-court settlement as Shell has twice acted in breach by using your reckless comments to denigrate us to third parties. The latter instance applies to proceedings in 2005 when Shell quoted from your adverse comments about my son. These were WIPO proceedings in which he was not even involved. Shell had not disclosed in the settlement papers put before you the complete terms of the settlement even though you were being asked to sanction the settlement. You seem to have made the mistake of believing the false information contained in a draft so-called “joint press release” announcing a “stalemate” outcome of the trial. In fact Shell had paid all of my son’s legal costs. He also received a payment. However the settlement was negotiated and accepted under duress in the most unsatisfactory circumstances following the intimidation of witnesses (mentioned below) and the contrived false accusations played out in court under your nose. You should have stopped the trial immediately it became apparent to you that you had been misled and duped in open court. Instead you went way out of your way to praise Shell’s mendacity, in what was the most blatant display of bias that I have ever come across.
YOUR ENDORSEMENT OF SHELL’S DISHONEST BEHAVIOUR: Was it proper in the same openly biased comments (resulting in your heated exchanges with Geoffrey Cox which continued in your chambers) for you to endorse dishonest conduct by the relevant Shell manager against other companies on the grounds that he was acting in the best interests of his employer, Shell: I am referring to his deliberate documented deception against companies participating in a Shell tendering process for a major contract.
Amazingly, you went out of your way to give him absolution in respect of our earlier High Court actions against Shell and informed him that he left court with his “reputation enhanced”. How extraordinary! Shell had paid us over a quarter of a million in damages plus legal costs in respect of our first three claims against them arising from his dishonesty. Not only that. We also received a letter of apology from Shell UK Chairman Dr Chris Fay. Yet you pardoned the relevant manager without even hearing those three cases. That is inexplicable.
AN EQUAL WEIGHT OF ARMS: In court Shell had a leading specialist QC, Mr Geoffrey Hobbs supported by a specialist junior, plus the then Senior Partner of Kendall Freeman, Mr Colin Joseph, Shell Legal Director/General Counsel Richard Wiseman, and a small army of legal flunkies. Our company was represented in court by a teenage dropout, Mr Nicholas St John Gill, who had no legal background or legal experience whatsoever. He never spoke a word in the entire trial except to confirm his name. My son was represented by a then junior barrister, Mr Geoffrey Cox, who had no experience in the relevant field of law. Shell managed to torpedo our legal aid by writing a letter to the Legal Aid Board which contained untrue information. Because of the sudden withdrawal of legal aid I HAD NO LEGAL REPRESENTATION WHATSOEVER despite the fact that Shell had brought their malicious £100,000 Counterclaim against me. Thus at the age of 81, I faced alone, without any legal advice or representation, the unbridled might of a multinational goliath which had used every underhand trick in its arsenal to prevent us having a fair trial. You asked not a single question about the predicament that I was in.
YOUR TOTAL LACK OF INTEREST IN SHELL’S ADMITTED UNDERCOVER ACTIVITIES IN THE LEAD–UP TO THE TRIAL: As you may recall, Shell and Kendall Freeman admitted the pre-trial “activities” of an undercover agent, Mr Christopher Philips, who used false pretences, involving deception, false credentials and a fake business card while carrying out a clandestine mission on Shell’s behalf. You were aware of other sinister activities directed against my family including physical threats, a series of highly suspicious burglaries involving the litigation documents and the small army of undercover agents who besieged us. It was obvious when he gave evidence in court that one of our key witnesses (who I will refer to as "RS") was under considerable stress. In his testimony he linked this to the experience of having his house burgled and his Shell documents surreptitiously examined. The relevant transcript extract from his cross examination by Geoffrey Hobbs QC, the Counsel acting for Shell is printed below: -
Q: Have you kept files in your house relating to these matters that we are discussing here?
A: I had done.
Q: Until when?
A: last October-ish.
Q: Did you not think that they ought to be kept beyond October?
A: No, I did not, and the reason I disposed of the files was I had a burglary, and it was rather a strange circumstance really, because very little was taken but small items of jewellery left laying around, and at a later point I discovered that these files had actually been tampered with, although at the point that the police were called, the scenes of crimes officers went over the house, I had not noticed that any of it had been disturbed. At that point I wondered, as other people that appeared to be involved as witnesses in this case or whatever, who also had burglaries, that I no longer wanted any of the paperwork with anything to do with these matters, and passed them back to John Donovan.
RS was also aware of Mr Philips “activities” and was himself interviewed by an American posing as a newspaper journalist.
As a direct consequence of the sinister events described above RS was in the process of selling his home as he and his wife no longer felt safe living in it.
You Sir Hugh expressed
not one word of interest in his extraordinary testimony about the sinister
events, some of which Shell had admitted and some which they had
categorically denied. Information about the relevant matters was also
contained in the material put before you. In the “Judges Comments” you
insisted on making at the conclusion of the trial, you read an extract from
a short letter (from my son) which had been published in its entirety by
Marketing Week magazine. The letter contained the following paragraph:
“During the current litigation, Shell has employed undercover investigators
who have used outright deception in the course of their activities. I have a
letter from Shell's legal director, Richard Wiseman, admitting Shell's
association with the covert activities (copy available on request).”
Yet, you Sir Hugh expressed not the slightest interest in the admitted undercover activities directed against us by Shell. Why the complete lack of interest in a fair trial free of underhand practices and intimidation? It was already a case of David v Goliath. Why did you turn a blind eye to Shell’s disgraceful conduct?
Shell did not disclose to the police who carried out an investigation, that at the material time, Shell shared common directors and shareholders with a private intelligence firm whose stock in trade is deception and trickery. It engaged in cloak and dagger missions involving infiltration, intelligence gathering, sabotage, betrayal, entrapment and deception on an international basis against Shell’s perceived enemies. These sinister activities were later admitted by Shell after exposure by The Sunday Times in a front page story about a Shell spy who operated under the codename of “Camus”. The article revealed that the espionage activities of “Campas” even had a connection with the hanging of the innocent Nigerian Nobel Laureate, Ken Saro-Wiwa, by the Nigerian despotic military regime who were Shell’s cohorts in the exploitation and despoliation of the Nigerian Delta.
Eight Royal Dutch Shell companies are currently embroiled in litigation with Dr John Huong, a former Shell geologist of almost 30 years standing who has been silenced by them with a collective High Court Injunction in relation to his whistle-blower postings on my website: ShellNews.net. Dr Huong, a man of integrity and conscience, has revealed that Shell knowingly deceived its shareholders over its oil and gas reserves. He supplied me with documentary proof. Dr Huong is suing Shell for wrongful dismissal. It is interesting to note that by coincidence or otherwise there is a familiar pattern in events surrounding his litigation with Shell: a suspicion founded on a concern that he and his communications are under surveillance and a series of mysterious burglaries which have been reported to the Police.
Taking into account all the information set forth herein, I have to say that you allowed what you described as a “dreadful trial” to be heard on what most people would consider to be an unfair and wholly unacceptable basis under English law.
For the reasons set out above the trial heard by you amounted to a travesty of justice. Since there was no judgement as such, other than your hopelessly biased “Judges Comments”, my son is not in a position to appeal and thus is left with his reputation damaged by you without any form of redress. That is fundamentally unfair and totally unacceptable.
EXTRACTS FROM THE TRIAL TRANSCRIPT
FRANK LEGGATT ( a then senior Shell manager)
DISCUSSED IN THE TRANSCRIPT: THE INVOLVEMENT OF THEN SHELL MANAGER ANDREW
LAZENBY IN THE PITCH PROCESS FOR THE SMART CONTRACT
29 June 1999
Q: Tell me, Mr Leggatt, if somebody enters a pitch, a tender process, and is rejected, would you think it proper not to inform them that they had been rejected, but to allow them to carry out significant further work without being told?
A: Would I think that were proper?
Q: It is not proper, is it, to effectively deceive other potential contractors who have entered a tender and not tell them that you have actually rejected them, but then gone on to require from them further work, knowing all along you have rejected them? That is just not proper, is it?
A: No, it is not proper
Page 96, I July 1999
Geoffrey Cox asked Lazenby why he “habitually” put down an “untruth” (in his letters). Mr Lazenby denied that he did so “habitually”. Mr Cox returned to the same theme on page 128: -
Mr Cox: Q: Let me just recap a little. When you use language habitually, Mr Lazenby, do you use it to express what you truly believe, and believe to be the fact, or do you use language in some fashion that it is not supposed to be taken at face value? You see, this is not the only example of your language not being taken at face value, is it? The letter, for example, that we have looked at just a little while ago, about internally doing it in Shell. We are to read that as simply being a way to say goodbye. This, we are not to read then in the meaning of rejected; it does not mean rejected?
The Cross-Examination of Independent Witness, John Armstrong-Holmes
21 June 1999
(pages 141 & 142).
(During his cross-examination of a witness for the Plaintiff, Mr John Armstrong-Holmes, Geoffrey Hobbs QC implied that there had been conclusion between my son and Mr Armstrong-Holmes in regards to the preparation of their respective witness statements. This was of course an extremely serious charge of a conspiracy to commit perjury. Hobbs made his accusation based on his erroneous claim that the words “inherited an option” were not in the witness statement of Mr Armstrong-Holmes. When it was pointed out that he was wrong – the words were in the relevant statement - Hobbs withdrew the accusation and confessed that “I was asking that question on a false basis”. )
EXTRACTS FROM THE TRIAL TRANSCRIPT RELATING TO THE FORGERY/PERJURY/CONSPIRACY ALLEGATIONS
22 June 1999
Mr Justice Laddie: Your client has been taken by surprise?
Mr Cox: We were taken by surprise. “…it has, we submit, the hallmarks of an ambush…
Geoffrey Cox in relation to the forgery allegation:
“Until now, we had never dreamed that this theory could be advanced… this is theory and no more”
Mr Justice Laddie: Of course. I agree. It is a load of tosh, but it is important tosh?
Mr Justice Laddie: Mr Cox says he was surprised and I can understand why he says he was surprised.
Mr Geoffrey Hobbs QC: “…I am definitely not going to say anything to your lordship in any way shape, or form about Mr Horley…”
Mr Justice Laddie to Mr Hobbs: Do you know where Mr Horley is? Is he still employed by Sainsburys?
Mr Hobbs: I am very reluctant to answer these questions –
MR JUSTICE LADDIE: I am asking you, Mr Hobbs.
MR HOBBS: I am happy to answer on that basis; Mr Horley is, as I understand it, alive and well and in England and recently retired. Retired, as I understand it, within the last two or three weeks. I believe his whereabouts could be established by communications with the Salisbury's Legal Department and that there is therefore no physical impediment in his attendance. I must immediately say that I make no predictions for or against, one way or the other as to the utility of the exercise. I am saying precisely nothing over those matters. But he is available and I thought it right to draw your attention to this.
(On page 68 Mr Justice Laddie made the important point that Shell had admitted the authenticity of the document which it subsequently decided was a forgery. On page 73, Mr Justice Laddie indicated that no one had asked Sainsburys to produce the documents voluntarily or had subpoenaed them.)
This was the same document over which Mr Lazenby in his cross-examination stated that he had a growing recollection including the Sainsburys letter which Shell lawyers had stated did not exist at the time and was created/forged at a later date. Realising that he may have dropped his guard, Lazenby backtracked to some extent. None the less, his comments were revealing.
Relevant extract from page 176, 1 July 1999
Andrew Lazenby answer to Geoffrey Cox: If you compare the Concept Four and the Sainsburys letter, having now poured over Concept Four for some months in preparation for this trial, it seems to jog memories. Nothing more than that. It seems to come back to me that it may have been mentioned in passing. But that is only after pouring over it in the last few months. Nothing has jogged any memories about the Sainsburys letter or even any discussion at all with Mr Donovan about Sainsburys or anything.
Q: Forgive me, did you have the recollection, dimly stirring, of seeing Concept Four when you made your witness statement?
A: I do not think I did. It was some months ago when we had to file these. It is only a dim recollection and, as I say, if you look at it, it is a collection of generic concepts or ideas.
Tuesday 29 June 1999
MR COX: My Lord, I wondered whether your Lordship might appreciate an update on the position. I do not know whether your Lordship has had a bundle from the claimant of a witness statement from Mr
MR JUSTICE LADDIE: I have read it all.
MR COX: I am grateful. In that case, your Lordship knows some of what has been going on, albeit it is only the tip of the iceberg of the activities the defendant's solicitors and others have been pursuing. The position we are at now is that it appears, from the best we can investigate, that there is no internal evidence whatsoever to support the allegations that were made last week by the defendant and it is purely the basis put forward by Mr Hobbs in cross-examination.
MR JUSTICE LADDIE: There is no evidence either way.
MR COX: There is no evidence either way. There is nothing.
29 June 1999
COX: I have your Lordship's point. I have it. I am extremely grateful for the indications you have given me. That assists me greatly. May I also say this: there is some point in demonstrating to your Lordship that there is not a scrap of independent internal evidence for the allegations that are being made. It might at some stage have crossed your Lordship's mind that there was something up Mr Hobbs' sleeve for these allegations. There is none, we know from Horley, we know from King, we now know from the expert.
MR JUSTICE LADDIE: Now is not the time for speeches.
June 29 1999
Mr Cox indicates that Shell’s misleading pre-trial pleadings in relation to the relevant documents had been prejudicial to my sons’ case against Shell.
The Cross-Examination of Document Expert Dr Audrey Giles in relation to the alleged forged docs
29 June 1999
During the cross-examination of Dr Audrey Giles you and Geoffrey Hobbs QC attempted to pressurise/persuade Dr Giles to support a “theory” dreamt up an hour and a half earlier by Mr Hobbs junior counsel, Mr Philip Roberts, in relation to the accusation of document forgery, perjury and a conspiracy to pervert the course of justice. I have read the relevant transcript carefully and it is clear to me that at times you joined Mr Hobbs in applying pressure on her to support the theory, at one point even reminding Dr Giles of her obligation to the court.
Despite all of this, Dr Giles who has impressive credentials, including 13 years as Head of the Questioned Documents Section of the Metropolitan Police Forensic Science Laboratory, would not agree with the spur-of-the-moment conjecture by a biased barrister, who has no credentials or expertise in such matters.
(More recently Dr Giles is the expert retained by the Daily Telegraph who brilliantly exposed the Heinrich Himmler documents as being bogus. )
However she found not a smidgen of evidence to support the forgery allegations in my sons’ case and to her great credit stood up to the pressure put on her.
I do acknowledge Sir Hugh that you have been a respected Judge of the highest integrity but more recent events have left me wondering about our strange experiences in the trial. As I have already stated I have concluded that by the time of the compromise settlement you were hopelessly biased against us. That fact was blatantly evident from your remarks in the transcript of the "Judges Comments". I do not know why this was the case.
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