RESPONSE FROM ALFRED DONOVAN TO SHELL WHISTLEBLOWER DR JOHN HUONG, 2 JULY 04
2 July 04
Dear Dr Huong
No one other than me has any control over what is published on my website. I am the sole publisher/webmaster and general factotum. Although I am outside the jurisdiction of the relevant Court, I have removed the relevant articles out of respect for your personal wishes. Please let me know if you discover any remaining articles on the website which have been supplied by you. As far as I am aware, all such postings have already been deleted.
I note from the content of the court papers that Shell takes issue with being characterised as an evil multinational whose management has engaged in cover-up and deceit.
However it is surely evil for eight Shell companies from three different Countries to club together to sue you – a former Shell employee of almost 30 years standing - particularly when Shell has chosen to ignore countless similar comments made by the news media and other sources in recent months. Why has Shell chosen to pick on a financially weaker opponent rather than an opponent closer to its own size?
Why has Shell not brought legal proceedings against me as the publisher of your comments? One of the eight companies is registered in the UK where I reside. My own writings on the website are more damning against Shell than your comments; so why you, but not me? Indeed, in many instances you have only repeated comments which have been published by me on the internet on a continuous basis since 2002.
So what is the real reason for Shell coming down so devastatingly hard on you Dr Huong? Is it because as a Shell geologist you have inside knowledge of the reserves debacle/cover-up, or other potentially scandalous matters and consequently had to be silenced?
In this connection, I was contacted by US attorneys, Bernstein, Liebhard & Lifshitz LLP literally within hours of deleting your web pages. They are acting for the lead plaintiff in a US class action law suit being brought against Shell (Civil Action 04431 in the US District Court of New Jersey). Their investigator indicated that Shell had pre-empted many lines of inquiry. I informed him that this may well have happened on this occasion. Fortunately I was able to email him copies of the relevant web pages which I had saved in an archive file.
What is clear from the law suit is that Shell really is a multinational in denial. One has only to scan through the news headlines featured on this website to see how Shell’s reputation has been torn to shreds by the dishonest actions of its management. Yet according to the court papers Shell management is apparently still under the collective illusion that it retains a first-class reputation.
This is despite the grovelling apologies from its Group Chairman, Jeroem van der Veer, who has admitted to feeling “shocked, dismayed and ashamed” at the scandals which have engulfed Shell. I quote from an authenticated copy of the speech Mr van der Veer gave to 400 leaders of Shell in Texas on or about 26 May 2004. Leaders from Shell Malaysia were present and no doubt will be able to explain to the Malaysian High Court the precise reasons for the above confession. Perhaps Dr Huong they can also explain other admittances made by Shell management of corporate arrogance, bullying, lies, and cover-up.
The recently disgraced Group Chairman, Sir Philip Watts, has been publicly accused (by the "Mail on Sunday" on 4/4/04) of setting up and funding a private army of 1400 Police spies in Nigeria. Shell has also admitted using undercover agents in UK litigation against my son and me. I also have evidence of its close association with the sinister spy firm Hakluyt which shared common directors and shareholders with Shell Transport and Trading Company plc. The private spy firms undercover agents have used deception, trickery, betrayal, fabrication, fraud and infiltration on behalf of Shell - black arts not in keeping with Shell's claimed, but not practised, ethical code falsely promising honesty, integrity and openness in all of Shell's dealings. All of these subjects are covered on my website which has been operational for over 18 months without any legal challenge from Shell.
I also have incontrovertible documentary evidence of (1) corrupt practices at Shell which were ignored by senior Shell management; (2) a deeply ingrained corporate culture of cover-up: Shell management intent on keeping information even from its own shareholders - the parties/individuals who actually own the Royal Dutch Shell Group.
Apart from the multi-billion dollar class action law suits in relation to the reserves debacle, there are also other class action law suits relating to Shell's admitted serious misconduct in Nigeria and in relation to tainted gasoline recently sold in several US states. Shell has accepted the blame for the defective fuel. At the beginning of June 2004, a US Federal Appeals Court reinstated a lawsuit accusing Shell Oil Co. of operating a price-fixing conspiracy with a supposed competitor. Shell is also facing pollution related law suits in Texas relating to its operations in Port Arthur; in the Philippino capital Manila and in Sao Paulo, Brazil, where Shell stands accused of contaminating drinking water and causing extremely serious health problems, including cancers, infertility and respiratory diseases. These cases obviously reflect on the integrity and competence of Shell management.
Does this all sound like the actions of a reputable multinational? I think not.
Dr Huong, I have gained the impression from our correspondence that you are a deeply religious man and a basically decent human being who is worried about your family and the citizens of our polluted world. I know that you do not want me to speak out on your behalf but I cannot remain silent in the face of such blatant victimisation. So while I will abide by your request in regards to publication of your materials on my website, I will do my level best to assist in any way I can in your defence against the oil giant Shell.
Consequently , I will be contacting Friends of the Earth and other NGO’s including Greenpeace and The Body Shop who have been subjected to infiltration and sabotage by Shell’s undercover agents (as admitted by Shell), with the objective of obtaining Affidavits for use in your Defence. I will also be approaching a senior representative of the Ogoni people on the same basis. In that regard, how can it be right for the Ogoni people who sit on top of substantial oil reserves to remain in poverty after all of the years Shell has been in operation in Ogoniland, while the disgraced Shell Group Chairman, Sir Philip Watts receives a $1.8 million dollar payoff and sits on an $18 million dollar pension pot? It is more than obscene. It is morally indefensible.
In view of the above information your comments about Shell are clearly well-founded and fully justified.
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