ShellNews.net: Shell issues High Court “Summons in Chambers” targeted against Alfred Donovan, the co-owner/publisher of this website: 17 July 2006
We reveal the latest moves by Shell in its avalanche of legal proceedings against Dr John Huong, the former Shell geologist…
In June 2004, eight Royal Dutch Shell companies collectively brought defamation proceedings in Malaysia against Shell whistleblower Dr John Huong.
The draconian proceedings were in respect of articles published by Alfred Donovan (and his son John) on their websites focused on the activities of the Royal Dutch Shell Group.
Shell has issued further proceedings over the last two years against Dr Huong, including multiple interim injunctions and proceedings for contempt of court. The legal papers have been supplied to us by the solicitors acting for Dr Huong.
The latest legal proceedings centre around Alfred Donovan.
The first is a Summons in Chambers
The second an Affidavit by a Shell legal manager
Since both legal documents cover the same basic issues and allegations, Donovan has inserted his comments in red text under the appropriate paragraphs in the Summons in Chambers document only.
Shell lawyers are insisting that Dr Huong be ordered to produce Donovan in open court in Malaysia for a hearing being held in Kula Lumpur on 2nd August. If he is not produced, Shell has asked the court to rule that Donovan's May 2006 Affidavit, vital to Dr Huong's defence, cannot be used in the case. However, Shell clearly does not really want Donovan to appear in court, as there are implied threats set out in the legal papers in the form of accusations that Donovan has acted in contempt of court, an offence potentially punishable by imprisonment.
It all boils down to Donovan having his testimony discarded if he does not attend court, but potentially ending up languishing in a Malaysian jail if he does.
Shell has again chosen to ignore the
fact, well known to them, that Donovan is in his 90th year. His advanced age did
not stop Shell International Petroleum Company Limited issuing proceedings
against him in May last year in respect of Shell related domain names, including
the top level domain name for its newly unified company: Royal Dutch Shell Plc.
Shell lost the case and Donovan retains the domain names. The Shell themed
websites operated by the Donovan’s receive over a million hits per month.
It is remarkable that the mighty Royal Dutch Shell Group has got itself in the surreal situation of applying to the court for an 89 year old war pensioner to be compelled to travel half way round the world to be cross-examined. Frankly, it is laughable. The only explanation is that the whole case against Dr Huong now turns on the evidence of Donovan and if the Judge accepts Donovan’s Affidavit as being a truthful account of the facts, Shell’s case against Dr Huong will be in ruins. Dr Huong will then be placed in the position of having grounds to bring a major action against the relevant EIGHT Royal Dutch Shell Group companies for damages. Hence Shell’s bizarre application.
Is it possible that Shell management is
so out of touch that it does not realise just how bad this looks to outside
observers? Eight Royal Dutch Shell companies ganging up and terrorising an
unemployed formally loyal employee of 29 years standing, while also trying to
coerce an infirm old man into travelling to Malaysia for interrogation by Shell
lawyers, possibly followed by incarceration.
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