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Shell lawyers prepared to give false information to Fox News

By John Donovan

On 22 March 2007, Shell Media and Shell lawyers agreed on this statement for issue to the “O’Reilly Factor”.

Alfred and John Donovan
Our colleagues in Shell International tell us that they are very familiar with the activities of Messrs Alfred and John Donovan, who are long-standing critics of Shell as a result of a business dispute in the UK dating back many years. Shell went well beyond the strict call of duty in ensuring that Mr Donovan’s claims were fully investigated and more than fully settled many years ago. It is therefore disappointing that the Donovans continue their long-running and acrimonious campaign against Shell on a wide range of subjects. Although Shell International disagree fundamentally with the factual basis and interpretation of much of the information on which the Donovans base their various allegations, the company has always refrained from commenting on specific issues raised by the Donovans and will continue to do so in this case.

This statement could have been written by a Snake Oil salesman as it is misleading and downright deceptive.  Shell lawyers are apparently either incapable of telling the truth or have extremely poor memories.

The statement neglected to mention how we were subjected to a campaign of intimidation and dirty tricks. The claimed full investigation included the use of undercover activity carried out at the behest of Shell. An agent on a covert mission to our offices used deceit, subterfuge and fake credentials, including a faked business card for a company which did not exist. We were besieged by undercover investigators and criminal activity. Was this all part of fully investigating our allegations?

Shell also said in its statement that the company had “always refrained from commenting on specific issues raised by the Donovans…” This was to put it politely, totally untrue. Shell has often supplied us with comment for publication in respect of specific issues.

One example featured in an article we published in January 2007. It resulted from correspondence with two top Shell lawyers, Richard Wiseman and Keith Rudduck. The email correspondence took place only a few months before Shell prepared the false statement for Fox News. We published Shell’s comment right at the top of the article.

Interesting to read again a paragraph from the relevant article (The inside story of Shell’s Sakhalin II debacle) saying:

According to reports received from Shell insiders, Shell “spooks” have also been engaged in a hunt to track down the sources of leaks documents and information.

Our insider sources have therefore once again been proved reliable, as what they said then, is confirmed by internal documents recently supplied to me by Shell under a Data Protection Act application.

It is impossible to reconcile Shell’s carefully planned deception, as shown in the relevant emails involving Fox News (files 1 & 2), with its claimed core business principles of integrity, honesty and openness.

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