By John Donovan
As forecast on June 3 in my article “Shell settlement in the Wiwa v. Shell U.S. trial imminent?“, Shell has indeed chosen “to solve the problem with hard cash rather then allowing the dirtiest of dirty laundry to be aired in court”. $15.5 million to be precise.
My analysis and forecast was based partly on inside information and partly on our own unique experience in dealing with Shell lawyers and Shell senior management, including Malcolm Brinded, in an unparalleled series of seven court actions, all of which Shell chose to settle.
My article led to feverish speculation by Ogoni activists in the USA, of a sell out. I have Ogoni internal emails confirming this fact.
The plaintiffs contended that Shell colluded with the Nigerian Military Government in the 1995 execution of 9 Ogoni activists, including Ken Saro-Wiwa (above), after being convicted on trumped up charges.
We were first to break the news of the settlement today on our website royaldutchshellplc.com beating all of the news agencies.
Greed seems to have overcome the stated objectives of exposing Shell’s evil misdeeds in open court. The plaintiffs would have been under pressure by their lawyers, who had their own greed driven agenda. That would have made it easier to take Shell’s blood money.
Contrary to the words attributed to his soon-to-be wealthy son, I doubt Ken Saro-Wiwa would be at all happy with Shell being allowed to escape justice with the usual formula of no admittance of wrongdoing. From all that I have heard about him, I think he would be utterly disgusted with the outcome.
I know how the PR side is arranged in advance with press statements being issued containing false information to fool the media, the public, and Shell stake-holders into believing that Shell was an innocent benevolent bystander. In our last action against Shell, the true terms of settlement were kept secret even from the Judge, Mr Justice Laddie. $15.5 million is a pittance compared with the billions of dollars in hydrocarbons Shell has extracted from the Niger Delta over decades, leaving death and destruction in its wake.
Another win for the devil.
Settlement Documents filed with Court on June 8, 2009
Doc 519 STIPULATION OF VOLUNTARY DISMISSAL It is hereby stipulated and agreed by and between the parties and/or their respective counsel(s) that the above-captioned action is voluntarily dismissed, with prejudice against the defendant(s) all parties and without costs to either party pursuant to Rule 41(a)(1)(A)(ii) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Document filed by Shell Petroleum, N.V., Shell Transport and Trading Company, LTD, Brian Anderson.Associated Cases: 1:96-cv-08386-KMW-HBP, 1:01-cv-01909-KMW-HBP(Millson, Rory) (Entered: 06/08/2009)
Doc 520 (13 pages) SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT AND MUTUAL RELEASE. Document filed by Shell Petroleum, N.V., Shell Transport and Trading Company, LTD, Brian Anderson.
Doc 520-2 (1 Page) Exhibit A to Settlement Agreement,
Doc 520-3 (3 Pages) Exhibit B to Settlement Agreement
Doc 520-4 (4 Pages) Exhibit C to Settlement Agreement