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Dutch law firm Prakken d’Oliveira Target of Shell Spying?

Email Sent To Prakken d’Oliveira by John Donovan, Sunday 10 December 2017

Be Warned: Your Law Firm is Almost Certainly Under Surveillance Again!

As Prakken d’Oliveira is aware, for more than two decades I have operated websites focussed on the *global misdeeds of Royal Dutch Shell. In more recent years, mainly via my websites and I make the above warning based on my own experience during a long drawn out acrimonious relationship with Shell.

Perceived as an arch-enemy, I have been the target of multiple spying operations carried out over many years at the behest of Shell senior management. I have irrefutable proof in the form of letters of admission by Shell and confidential Shell internal communications obtained in response to SAR applications under the Data Protection Act. UK police have carried out  investigations covering burglaries, threats of violence and repeated cyber attacks.

In a peak period of litigation, the home of a key witness, my solicitors residence, and my own home, all located in different parts of the UK, were broken into and documents tampered with, including one document a Shell lawyer had vowed that Shell would get it hands on at all costs, even though a judge had ruled otherwise. These were not ordinary burglaries. No valuables were stolen. We did catch one Shell undercover agent at our offices. He had presented false credentials for a consultancy firm that did not exist. We later cornered Shell into admitting responsibility for his covert activities.

I am far from being alone as a target of sinister cloak and dagger activity instigated by Shell. I attach a copy of a front page article published by the Sunday Times detailing espionage operations undertaken on behalf of Shell by Hakluyt, the spy firm set up by former MI6 officers. Shell’s targets in various countries included Greenpeace, colleagues of Ogoni leader Ken Saro-Wiwa and other parties perceived as having an anti-Shell agenda.

Shell subsequently plotted to kill a Sunday Times article partly on the same subject, but more prominently, about my role in the Sakhalin2 project, which cost Shell its majority stake in the venture (as confirmed by a Russian Minister Oleg Mitvol in an interview conducted by then Sunday Times journalist Steven Swinford).

Be warned that based on my knowledge of Shell’s covert operations, it is likely that because of the growing number of cases you have launched against Shell, Prakken d’Oliveira will also be perceived by Shell as an arch-enemy.

If this assessment is correct, you may already be an active target of Shell Global Security and Hakluyt, with whom Shell maintains a close, ongoing relationship. The last time I sent an email to the head of Shell Global Security Ian Forbes McCredie (himself a former senior MI6 officer), I received a response from his Hakluyt email address. Confirmation of Shell’s employment of former MI6 “people” – Guy Colegate and John Copleston – on the mega corrupt Nigerian OPL 245 deal, was given earlier this year by RDS CEO Ben van Beurden in a wire-tapped telephone call with then RDS CFO, Simon Henry. In the same extraordinary phone call, which took place while a Dutch police raid on Shell HQ was in progress, BvB made plain his wish to withhold information from Shell shareholders and from the police. This confirms that the cover-up culture at Shell starts at the top, no doubt learnt by BvB from his once boss, Sir Philip Watts.

Given Shell managements potentially fatal attraction to the dark arts, Prakken d’Oliveira will be well-advised to be on its guard.

*Global Misdeeds of Shell:
I have tracked one Shell scandal after another. Securities fraud, money laundering in the Saudi oil-for-arms affair, tax dodging, IP theft, ill-treatment of employees, operating a sham ethical code and being responsible for multiple breaches of HSE regulations over many years, resulting in the deaths of innocent Shell employees. In Nigeria, human rights abuse, conspiracy in the murder of perceived enemies (Ogoni 9), plunder of hydrocarbon resources, disgraceful environmental pollution, corruption and human rights abuse on an unprecedented scale. Plus massive police corruption in Ireland admitted by Shell contractors. Royal Dutch Shell supported apartheid policies in South Africa. Even further back, Shell Dutch leadership financed Hitler and the Nazi Party. With regards to mistreatment of Shell employees, I have had two individuals in a matters of days, both threatening suicide over the way they claim to have been treated by Shell. Both draw attention to Shell’s sham business principles.

On 27 October 2015, the Court of Appeal of The Hague ruled on appeal that the AIVD and the MIVD are not allowed to intercept telephone conversations in which a lawyer participates. This tapping is only allowed if independent supervision is exercised on this type of tapping, but this supervision is currently lacking. The court thus confirms the decision of the preliminary relief judge, who previously ruled in the same way.

The lawsuit was brought before the lawyers of the Amsterdam law firm Prakken d’Oliveira and the Dutch Association of Criminal Lawyers against the State. They want the AIVD (the General Intelligence and Security Service) and the MIVD (the Military Intelligence and Security Service to stop listening to lawyers.

On the basis of the law (the Intelligence and Security Services Act), the services may listen to telephone conversations. Attorneys can also participate in these interviews, either because the lawyer himself is a ‘target’ of the services (‘direct tapping’) or because a ‘target’ that is being monitored is having a telephone conversation with his lawyer (‘indirect tapping’). ‘The problem is that conversations between a lawyer and his client are confidential and that they may only be infringed in special cases.However, the current law does not regulate anything about the special position of lawyers, ‘according to the court in a press release about the verdict.

According to the European Court of Human Rights, tapping of lawyers is only permitted if special safeguards are in place. ‘In particular, there must be independent supervision of that eavesdropping.That independent supervision is lacking at the moment. Although the Supervisory Committee on the Intelligence and Security Services (CTIVD) has a supervisory function, it does not directly interfere with the monitoring practice. Now that the required guarantees are missing, talks with lawyers can not be tapped by the AIVD and the MIVD, ‘the court states.

In his judgment of 1 July 2015, the judge in interlocutory proceedings had ordered the State to stop eavesdropping if it had not been arranged within six months that an independent body would supervise eavesdropping. The court rejects the argument of the State that this period is too short to bring about the necessary legislation. According to the court, the State had been able to see the decision of the court in preliminary relief proceedings for some time. The court is also not convinced that it is necessary to change the law. A change of policy can in principle also be sufficient.

The preliminary relief judge had also prohibited the services from sharing with the public prosecution information that comes from tapped conversations in which a lawyer participates. This prohibition immediately brought the Preliminary Relief Judge into effect. ‘Here too the court agrees with the provisional judge. It is against the right of the suspect to a fair trial that the content of confidential conversations with his lawyer at the public prosecution could be known.

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