From: Wiseman, Richard RM SI-LMAPF [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: 24 April 2006 08:48
To: Alfred Donovan
Subject: RE: Shell -v- Dr John Huong
Dear Mr Donovan
This is not my case. I am sure that Dr Huong can direct you to the lawyers dealing with this matter.
RESPONSE EMAIL 24 APRIL 2006
Dear Mr Wiseman
Thank you for your response. The letter which was attached to my email was, as you know full well, sent to the Shell lawyers “dealing with the matter” – Messrs. TH Liew in Kuala Lumpur.
This is the sleazy Malaysian law firm which last week sent an agent to the home of Dr Huong in the dark of night without prior notice to serve further Injunctive proceedings on him (on 19 April 2006 at 8.21pm). It was a reprehensible shock tactic (worthy of Kendall Freeman) clearly designed to intimidate him and his family.
Bearing in mind the amount of litigation, with countless proceedings being launched against Dr Huong by Shell over the last two years and Shell’s persistent threats of his imprisonment – at the outset of the litigation and again in the past few weeks as a result of his contact with us – Dr Huong is naturally anxious about conveying or supplying any information to us. He seems to be in a highly perilous position whatever he does.
If he supplies information which is in the public domain, then Shell lawyers come down on him like a ton of bricks. They obviously do not share your learned opinion on the subject of information/documents which are in the public domain. I am sure that under the circumstances both he and TH Liew will be astonished that you have suggested that we should get into direct contact with Dr Huong. I can only speculate that this was a misconceived attempt at black humour (if I am allowed to use that expression). If it was, then I doubt that Dr Huong will be amused.
Although the whole of Shell’s efforts seem directed at stopping any communication between ourselves and Dr Huong, TH Liew has apparently insisted that Dr Huong conveys to us Shell’s demands about the removal of information from our websites including correspondence sent to Human Rights Watch. Under the circumstances it would be no wonder if Dr Huong’s head is spinning.
With all due respect to TH Liew (none), matters are not made any easier by the fact that there are apparently further mistakes in the latest legal papers regarding the identity of the websites in question. Likewise Dr Huong is unable to identity within the documents the items which were allegedly published on my websites on 8th February 2006 – a date cited in the legal documents. This appears to be more negligence on the part of TH Liew. They got it wrong, right from the outset, citing a website which has never existed – the mythical “Whistleblower No 2” website – and continued building the case around supposed publications on the fictional website even after the mistake was pointed out.
As indicated in my recent letter to TH Liew, Dr Huong did call us after the surprise night-time visit. However he was constrained by concern about giving us too much information and by the lack of clarity in the said legal documents.
To avoid Dr Huong being accused of being the source of further information published by us, I would again suggest that someone be permitted to supply the legal documents directly to us, or alternatively that TH Liew should write to us specifying exactly what they would like us to do.
If we subsequently decided to publish any documents they supplied (which I assume are in the public domain in any event) Dr Huong could not then end up being blamed for our action, with the prospect of being jailed or fined if we exercised our rights to freedom of expression on the internet (as acknowledged/tolerated by Shell). I still have no idea why that same supposed universal freedom does not extend to Dr Huong?
Although you have suggested that we contact Dr Huong on the matter, I feel sure that under the circumstances he would prefer not to be an intermediary in the conveyance of any information on behalf of Shell which potentially imperils his freedom. If he is forced to convey information against his will that would in my view constitute a further infringement of his human rights. He has already been under a gagging order for almost two years at the instigation of Shell on the basis of fundamentally flawed evidence, although not judged guilty of anything, not even a parking offence.
I am finalising a further letter to Human Rights Watch. This exchange will be included in the correspondence, as will any email reply received from you or TH Liew by 5 pm UK time tomorrow. All will be published on the internet. As you are aware, we believe in and practice transparency. Shell only pretends that it does.
We intend to ensure that Shell’s misguided efforts to silence Dr Huong continue to produce a counter-productive result. Our next move will become evident later this week in a development which will not be welcomed by Shell management, particularly in the run up to the inaugural AGM of Royal Dutch Shell Plc.
Cc Mr Jeroen van der Veer, Chief Executive Officer, Royal Dutch Shell Plc