Shell whistleblower Dr John Huong has sent an email to me with a copy of the “Notice to Show Cause” contempt proceedings served on him last Wednesday on behalf of EIGHT Royal Dutch Shell multinational companies. His email made it plain that the relevant legal documentation must not be published.
The malicious and ill-founded contempt proceedings are in respect of an unfounded defamation law suit which EIGHT Royal Dutch Shell companies brought against Dr Huong in June 2004 in connection with alleged postings on my website. No such postings by Dr Huong have ever occurred.
The contempt ambush was sprung on Dr Huong last Wednesday during his separate wrongful dismissal Industrial High Court action against Shell which was in progress in the city of Kuching, Sarawak.
A covering letter dated 9 March 2006 from Royal Dutch Shell solicitors T H Liew, which accompanied the “Notice to Show Cause”, states: “Our client considers your conduct in your respect of your persistent internet postings, to be clearly in breach and in blatant disregard of the injunction order made against you by the Kuala Lumpur High Court in this action.”
All of the internet postings quoted in the “Notice to Show Cause” document are in respect of recent publications on my website which relate to Dr Huong. In fact the entire defamation case is in respect of postings made on my website, allegedly by Dr Huong.
The allegation made against Dr Huong of “your persistent internet postings” demonstrates that Shell management and its lawyers are living in fantasyland. FACT: Dr Huong has never published a single word on any website owned by me. The allegation is malicious and another blunder on the part of Shell management.
The website identified in the “Notice to Show Cause” document as being the website on which Dr Huong allegedly made his postings in 2004 (on which the Defamation lawsuit is founded) is “Shell Whistleblower No. 2”. FACT: This is more outrageous fantasy. No such website or domain name has ever existed. This is another howling blunder or a deliberate deceit on the court. As Shell and its sleazy lawyers have known since July 2004, all of the postings in question were made by me (with the help of my son John) on my website.
Dr Huong has naturally under the circumstances asked us to provide Affidavits, which is why he had to supply the legal documentation served on him. Dr Huong has made the point that any publication by me of the documentation could alone be the act which results in him being committed to prison for contempt of court. Consequently, I will have to give careful consideration to all aspects of this extremely serious matter.
Clearly Dr Huong is acting under immense duress. The situation is analogous to receiving a communication from someone who is under the control and threat of a ruthless and evil third party. In such circumstances, where the victim is deprived of the basic human right of freedom of expression and is under threat of imminent incarceration in a Malaysian jail, the stipulations as to non-publication and confidentiality have to be considered in that light. Another factor is that neither my websites nor my family or I are subject to the jurisdiction of the High Court of Malaya.
It should be clear from anyone visiting our websites over the years that unlike Shell management we have a track record of genuine transparency. We know from conversations with Dr Huong since May 2004 that he is a man of the highest integrity and shares many of our values, including our respect for freedom of expression. Everything he says at the moment is said under coercion. Consequently my feeling is that we may well decide to opt for publication.
As we are in possession of the documentation, that decision is now ours alone unless Shell perhaps wishes to take legal action against the people actually responsible for publication of the information to which Shell management has taken offence, rather than terrorising an unemployed Malaysian surrogate who is completely innocent of the relevant charges.
The Royal Dutch Shell Group is free to bring proceedings against me in an appropriate legal jurisdiction. I will be 89 next month. Perhaps Jeroen van der Veer or Shell General Counsel Richard Wiseman can arrange accommodation for me in time for my birthday? Shell seems intent on jailing all conscience driven adversaries these days e.g. “The Rossport Five”.
I realise that this is no joking matter for Dr Huong, so I hope he will forgive my momentary levity knowing that it is directed at his tormentors, not him.
RELATED ARTICLE: Royal Dutch Shell serves contempt proceedings against Shell whistleblower Dr Huong: Imprisonment or Fine (updated)

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