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Update on Shell controversies involving the Police

By John Donovan

Irish police investigation into alleged death threats against Shell whistleblowers on the Corrib Gas Project

In October 2010 I notified the Chief Police Commissioner of the Garda about alleged death threats made against Shell Corrib employees. Insiders had supplied us with a series of Shell internal emails containing sensitive confidential information about the Corrib Gas Project. Shell senior management had advance notice of the information I supplied to the Irish police and did not deny that the emails were authentic.

Except for an acknowledgement letter I received from a Chief Superintendent, I heard nothing further until I received a letter from Superintendent Patrick Diskin in April 2011. As a result of his letter, we supplied more information to the Garda.

Nearly a year later, in February 2012, I received a flurry of emails from three different Garda officers, including Superintendent Patrick Diskin and detectives involved in the investigation.

I have supplied further information.

Brent Bravo Scandal

On 14 February 2012 we published an article under the headline: Retired Shell HSE Group Auditor challenges Scottish Prosecutor

The article related to a criminal investigation of alleged corruption involving Shell and officials of the UK Health & Safety Executive. The allegations were made by a Shell whistleblower, Mr Bill Campbell, retired HSE Group Auditor, Shell International. His allegations concerned safety issues on North Sea platforms and the Brent Bravo explosion in particular, which cost the lives of Shell employees.

Grampion Police carried out an initial investigation, the results of which were passed to Scottish Prosecutor, Anne Currie, the Area Procurator Fiscal for Aberdeen. Following a meeting between Bill Campbell and Anne Currie, Campbell understood that a full investigation, including interviews of accused individuals and other parties, would be undertaken. The findings would inform a decision on whether to prosecute.

Although no such interviews ever took place, Anne Currie claimed that a full investigation – comprehensive and meticulous – had been carried out. A decision was taken not to prosecute or carry out out any further investigation.

I promised to update the article if any response was received to an email I sent to Anne Currie on 9 February. The response has now been received along with an apology from Ms Currie for the delay in responding. Since it is accompanied by warnings about disclosing the content, I will simply say that she has reiterated the points made in her reply in March 2011, which we have already published:

Mr Donovan

Please note that there was a full meeting with Mr Campbell on 18 February 2011 , when it was explained to him that there had been a full investigation following upon his allegations of bribery and corruption on the part of HSE and SHELL. Further he was advised that Crown Counsel had considered all the facts of this matter and decided there was insufficient evidence to justify a criminal prosecution or any further investigation.

Anne Currie
Area Procurator Fiscal

The lead headline of an extraordinary email that Bill Campbell will shortly be sending to every MP in the House of Commons and the Scottish Parliament provides an unambiguous indication of his response:

“The Criminal Investigation that never was!”

This is an extract from a comment about Anne Currie:

In summary her position is at odds with the Lord Advocate’s oral evidence to Parliament in December last, and at odds with what Grampian Police and the Justice Secretary considers to be a proper investigation under Scottish legal process, these parties have no confidence in the investigation carried out as described.

We will publish further extracts in due course.

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