4 April 2004
Mr Colin Joseph Shell Shareholders Organisation
Freeman Kendall 847a Second Avenue (bn 166)
43 Fetter Lane New York
London EC4A 1JU NY 10017 USA
3 Pages By Fax Only To: 011 44 (0) 207 716 3672
Dear Mr Joseph
I sampled the waters on Friday 2 April 2004 by having leaflets distributed at the Shell Centre for a short test period to gauge reaction (which was positive).
A Shell official came down to greet my two distributors, presumably forewarned by you of the possibility of their arrival. He confirmed to these independent witnesses that Shell has no objection to the distribution of my leaflets (he mentioned me by name) provided the distributors do not obstruct people entering or leaving the Shell Centre buildings. This is perfectly reasonable advice which will of course be followed.
Taken together with the fact that no action has been forthcoming in respect of the information published for over a year on the Internet it is further confirmation that Shell accepts that it repudiated the SMART settlement.
Consequently arrangements are being made for a team to start activities on a daily basis as per previous arrangements. Distribution will continue until the AGM, when leaflets will be circulated inside and outside the QE2 Conference Centre. The content of the leaflets will, as always, be topical. Apparently most of the recipients on Friday read the leaflets on the spot. I have since noticed an upsurge in activity on the website and no doubt “word of mouth” will soon spread news of the innovative site around the Shell global community.
However, I have also arranged for a distribution
of leaflets at The Hague HQ of Royal Dutch Petroleum in the coming days to
hasten the process. Advertisements for the latest website will appear shortly
in the national newspapers, Time Magazine, and in the trade press. This will be
a reprise of the earlier campaign. Other actions mentioned on the website will
also begin to be taken this coming week.
If I have misunderstood the situation in anyway and your client wishes to serve legal proceedings there is no need for Shell to use “cloak and dagger” tactics. You now have an address for service of proceedings and I will co-operate to bring matters before the courts. However, I will, at all costs, exercise my right to free speech. If Mr Wiseman had stood by the SMART settlement instead of flouting it, I might have let matters rest even though I was taken advantage of in an entirely improper way by the lawyers involved.
I made plain at the time my genuine desire to see an end to the long running acrimony but was manipulated and pressurised into signing a complex agreement which was a travesty of justice as far as my son was concerned and ignored my personal situation in terms of my health and my finances. The fact that the so called “independent solicitor” foisted on me was a solicitor previously intimately involved in the Shell/Smart litigation speaks for itself. Some lawyers involved knew what was going on but wanted my signature on the settlement documents at all costs so that legal fees were paid. Others perhaps turned a blind eye to the exploitation of my age and my stressed out state-of-mind caused by the admitted undercover activities. I refer to the avalanche of threats and the fortuitously timed professionally executed burglaries (according to Police analysis) whereby the perpetrators knew exactly what they were seeking.
I know that you and Mr Wiseman are capable of using undercover operatives against my family and I because you have both made written admissions. I appreciate that you have denied any knowledge of the burglaries but Shell has subsequently admitted hiring even more sinister characters than Christopher Phillips (if that was his real name), one of the undercover agents hired by you.
I refer you to the relevant front page story published in The Sunday Times on 17 June 2001 of which you are already aware. Serial burglary involved in a criminal conspiracy is a relatively minor matter compared with the events detailed in that story, which had a global impact on the reputation of Shell. If you had no knowledge of the extensive undercover operations on behalf of Shell UK detailed in The Sunday Times exposé, perhaps you were also kept in the dark about the pre-trial burglaries? We now know as a matter of fact that people at Shell UK (colleagues of Mr Wiseman) WERE capable of authorising sinister and oppressive covert operations using professional spies. Perhaps this explains Mr Wiseman’s action in issuing a written assurance of our personal safety?
It is unsurprising (in view of today’s bombshell news) that Shell Group Chairman Philip Watts took no notice of my protestations about Shell undercover activity targeting my family and me. I had no idea that in an alleged conspiracy with the former murderous military government of Nigeria, Philip Watts had previously personally helped to “organise and pay” for a “virtual Private Army” of 1400 police spies. I refer you to the “Mail On Sunday” article today headlined:-
“Shell chief had a private army”.
The sub-headline says: OIL GIANT’S EX-CHAIRMAN TO BE QUIZZED BY AMERICAN LAWYERS IN FIGHT FOR VICTIMS OF NIGERIAN BLOODBATH”. My complaints to Sir Philip about the various misdeeds in the UK must have seemed trivial in comparison with the shocking events which took place in Nigeria.
The entire backdrop of the trial – the attitude of the lawyers involved, the Judge, the witnesses and the media - would likely have been transformed if Shell’s predilection towards using “cloak and dagger” activity had already been uncovered. Our arguments and claims would have been greatly strengthened and Shell’s correspondingly weakened. It must have seemed highly improbable to detached observers at that time that our accusations against one of the world’s most respected multi-nationals had any possible substance. I probably sounded like a crank. But we all know the truth now and no one is laughing. These hard to believe facts are now a matter of public record.
Logic suggests that the denials by Shell of the burglaries and of the intimidating tactics used during the litigation would have carried less or no weight if information about the covert missions by the Shell spy codenamed “Camus” (uncovered by The Sunday Times) and the massive spying operation in Nigeria personally involving Mr Watts, had already been in the public domain.
How on earth can the above horrendous activities – the dark side of Shell - be reconciled with the core principles of honesty, integrity and transparency proclaimed in Shell’s State of General Business Principles?
To top it all we have the current criminal investigation by the US Department of Justice against Shell, associated probes by the SEC and other regulatory bodies, and the multi-billion dollar law suits against senior current and former Shell figures including Sir Philip, alleging fraud and misrepresentation. It sounds as if he will need every penny of his reported £8 million pension package to pay his lawyers. In that connection, can you confirm if you still represent Mr Watts, as if there is any further litigation, I may want to call him as a witness?
Shell’s image regretfully seems to be moving closer to “SPECTRE” - the fictional Special Executive for Counterintelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion - than the justifiably proud company of which we could once all be sure.
For swift communication kindly use my email address: email@example.com
Chairman, Shell Shareholders Organisation
Cc Mr Malcolm Brinded, Group Managing Director, Royal Dutch Shell Group
Mr Richard Woodman, General UK Counsel, Shell International Limited
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