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Posts on ‘March 26th, 2006’

ROYAL DUTCH SHELL DEFAMATION ACTION IN RESPECT OF POSTINGS ON THIS WEBSITE: IMPRISONMENT OR FINE?

PART 5: : MONDAY 27 MARCH 2006
By Alfred Donovan
This is the final part in a series of five articles relating to the defamation action which EIGHT Royal Dutch Shell companies have collectively brought against Shell whistleblower Dr Huong in respect of postings on this website under his name.
In parts 1 to 4, we published the letter from TH Liew (the lawyers acting for Shell) and the accompanying “NOTICE TO SHOW CAUSE” which they served on Dr Huong on Wednesday, 15 Match 2006 notifying of Shell's intention to issue contempt of court proceedings punishable by imprisonment or fine.
Since I am named in the proceedings and have played the key role in the various internet publications at the heart of the case, I was asked by Dr Huong and his lawyers to supply an Affidavit testifying to the facts. Extracts from my draft Affidavit were inserted into the first four articles.
I will now publish my comments on some primary issues covered by the Plaintiff group of EIGHT Royal Dutch Shell companies in their recent REPLY to the DEFENCE filed by Dr Huong. We have already published both documents. However, for ease of reference, I have republished Shell's entire REPLY again and have inserted my comments printed in red. All yellow highlighting is mine. All underlining is by Shell lawyers, TH Liew.
An extract:
What it all seems to boil down to is that the plaintiff Royal Dutch Shell companies were initially keen to associate themselves with the Shell brand generally when complaining about alleged damage to Shell's reputation. However they are now attempting to divorce themselves from the association because of well placed fears about Shell having to supply discovery documents which will blow the lid off Shell management misdeeds generally.
PARTS 1, 2, 3 & 4 ARE ALSO ACCESSIBLE VIA THIS ARTICLE

For the complete article click on the link below: –
http://shellnews.net/2006 docs/DR HUONG 2006/royal_dutch_shell_group-part-five-dr-huong-march-2006.htm
read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellenergy.website, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net and shell2004.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

Sunday Tribune (Nigeria): Another oil spillage hits Ogoniland

Even as efforts are still being made to effect the return of the major oil giant, Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), to Ogoniland in Rivers state, to resume oil exploitation activities, an oil spill from one of the company’s oil wellheads has devastated another Ogoni community.
Sunday Tribune gathered that K-Dere community in Gokana local government area of Rivers state went to sleep Friday evening with all its vicinity filled with crude oil spill from SPDC’s Bomu Well-2. It was further gathered that the spill was still on around 2:50pm, Saturday afternoon, when this report was being compiled.
According to reports, the spill occurred a year after a previous one, which SPDC came to stop and promised to come back later to do a more thorough work to prevent a reoccurrence, which never happened. Describing the level of damage to the Nigerian Tribune in a telephone conversation in Port Harcourt on Saturday, the President of the Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP), Ledum Mittee, said the spill would definitely have far reaching effect on the people.
According to him, “where this spill is happening is just like 100 meter from a church, attended by people, a school is just about 300 meters away and all round the wellhead are farms, on which active farming is gong on”.
He pointed out further that the area where the accident had occurred is well habited and as a result, “the spill will affect their food, water and livelihood sources”.
However, in a press statement sent online by Don Boham, the Corporate External Affairs Manager of SPDC, on the company’s behalf, the incidence was confirmed, adding that the company had mobilised its men to site to curtail the spill.
According to the statement, “a leak has occurred at Bomu Well-2, a dormant well in Ogoni land belonging to Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria limited. Crude oil was seen spewing out of the well-head late Friday, 24 March 2006. The vicinity of the spill is uninhabited.
“We have mobilised our oil spill response and fire service teams to the site, and also taking steps to secure the well and contain the spill. The cause of the spill and quantity of crude involved are yet to be determined.
“The relevant government agencies and community leaders have been informed of the situation and a Joint Investigation Team is due to visit the area”, it said. The company added further that it had stopped producing oil from Ogoni land in 1993. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellenergy.website, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net and shell2004.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

The Observer: Panic follows Shell oil leak

Panic follows Shell oil leak
Conal Walsh
Sunday March 26, 2006
Shell faces sharp criticism in the Philippines this weekend after a large oil spill at its controversial depot in Manila, the country's capital, writes Conal Walsh.
An estimated 25,000 litres of oil leaked from a storage drum at the giant Pandacan plant on Friday, reportedly emitting a pungent odour that caused panic among some of the shanty-town dwellers who live on the outskirts of the plant.
Although the leak was quickly brought under control, the incident will heighten calls among local politicians and international activists for Pandacan to be closed. They have long warned that the depot's location in the densely populated heart of Manila makes it a prime target for Islamic terrorists.
'A major incident at Pandacan, even an accident such as the one we saw at the Buncefield depot in England, would almost certainly lead to catastrophic loss of life,' said Craig Bennett of Friends of the Earth.
In response to fears of terrorism, Shell has increased security at Pandacan and scaled back its operations there, decommissioning the oil tanks that most closely border residential areas. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellenergy.website, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net and shell2004.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

AP Worldstream: Militants in Nigeria's oil region claim fresh clashes killed three soldiers

DULUE MBACHU
Mar 25, 2006
Militants behind a spate of attacks in Nigeria's southern oil-rich delta said Saturday they killed three soldiers in fresh clashes near a key natural gas plant run by Royal Dutch Shell.
The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, responsible for several bombings and hostage-takings this year that have cut Nigeria's oil exports by more than 20 percent, said its fighters crossed a military patrol boat on Thursday.
“We confirm that three soldiers were killed in this encounter,” the group said in an e-mail statement that gave no details of the clash. The group said it captured the boat and some quantities of arms and ammunition.
Army spokesman Col. Mohammed Yusuf said three soldiers went missing around Soku on Thursday but could not give any further details. Shell said there was no impact on the gas plant.
The movement claims to be fighting for the interests of the impoverished Niger Delta region that accounts for most of Nigeria's oil.
The militants have held two Americans and one Briton since Feb. 18, when the militants raided a barge owned by Houston-based oil services company Willbros Group Inc. and seized nine hostages. They released six of them after 12 days. Hostage-takings occur frequently in the volatile delta region. Most are released unharmed.
Nigeria normally exports about 2.5 million barrels of oil daily.
Copyright 2006 Associated Press read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellenergy.website, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net and shell2004.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

ShellNews.net: ROYAL DUTCH SHELL CONTEMPT PROCEEDINGS AGAINST SHELL WHISTLEBLOWER DR. JOHN HUONG: PART FOUR:

26 MARCH 2006
By Alfred Donovan
This is part four of the publication of extracts from a letter and “NOTICE TO SHOW CAUSE” issued by TH Liew, the solicitors acting for the EIGHT Royal Dutch Shell companies collectively suing Dr Huong for alleged defamation in respect of postings on this website.
The letter and accompanying “NOTICE TO SHOW CAUSE” were served on Dr Huong on Wednesday, 15 Match 2006 notifying of Shell's intention to issue contempt of court proceedings against him punishable by imprisonment or fine.
Since I am named in the proceedings and have played the key role in the various internet publications at the heart of the case, I have been asked by Dr Huong and his lawyers to supply an Affidavit testifying to the facts as Dr Huong has to respond to the charges made in the NOTICE TO SHOW CAUSE. My draft response in printed in red. All yellow highlighting is mine. All underlining is by Shell lawyers, TH Liew.
Part four extracts deal with sections 8 to 19 of the NOTICE TO SHOW CAUSE relating Dr Huong's draft Affidavit and my letter to Human Rights Watch: –
The 7.2.06 publication on the Shellnews.net website
8. You sent a detailed write-up of scandalous allegations of misconduct and wrongdoing by the Plaintiffs and Shell, which you called an 'affidavit*, to Alfred Donovan.
9. Donovan included this 'affidavit' in a comprehensive letter from him to Human Rights Watch and copied to his Shellnews.net website. The title of the piece is “The Persecution of Dr John Huong by a Multinational Giant' It makes numerous scandalous allegations against the Plaintiffs and Shell. This article states inter alia thus:

THE ARTICLE IS ACCESSIBLE VIA THE FOLLOWING LINK
http://shellnews.net/2006 docs/DR HUONG 2006/royal-dutch-shell-group-dr-huong-part-four-march-2006.htm read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellenergy.website, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net and shell2004.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

CNET News.com: FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION ON THE INTERNET

By Alfred Donovan
Posted on: March 25, 2006, 3:28 PM PST
Story: Net defamation suit leads to libel award (see below)
One expert has predicted that as a result of the decision in the Keith-Smith libel case companies will now try to shut down “suck sites” also known as “gripe sites”.
This would be a huge backward step because in my humble opinion the internet is the most important development in freedom of expression in my lifetime. It provides a low cost platform for anyone, even of modest means, to reach a global audience. It is the high-tech equivalent of having a soap box at “Speakers Corner” in London’s Hyde Park – that long-established bastion of free speech. The net gives ordinary mortals lucky enough to live in open societies the opportunity to publicly criticise the rich and powerful of this world.
I speak with some authority as I own and operate the world’s ultimate “gripe” website – (Royal Dutch Shell Plc .com). Shell International Petroleum Company issued proceedings via the World Intellectual Property Organisation in 2005 in an unsuccessful attempt to seize my Shell related domain names. The domain names included the top level domain names for their new $223 billion USD parent company, Royal Dutch Shell Plc and for the entire Group: Royal Dutch Shell Group. Shell came unstuck in those proceedings and I retain and use all three Shell domains in question. I won the case on a unanimous verdict by a three person panel.
Basically the WIPO panel decided that it is legally permissible to use a domain name even if it is identical to the name of a targeted company, provided the gripe site is operated on a non commercial basis. Of course this is subject to the domain registrations being available. By a fluke my Shell domain names were available. Out of the three best top level domain names relating to Shell – Shell.com, RoyalDutchShellPlc.com and RoyalDutchShellGroup.com – I own two and Shell owns one. This puts me in a wonderful position to embarrass Shell management.
The power of the internet has put me, a veteran of the second world war (89 next month), in a position to take on in a global arena one of the world’s largest multinational goliaths, the Royal Dutch Shell Group which operates in more than 140 countries and territories and employs more than 112,000 people.
I operate two sites each utilising one of the above domain names. They now contain over 9,000 pages of information about Shell, including leaked Shell internal documents and communications plus Shell insider revelations and thousands of news articles.
My son and I have assisted a number of parties who contacted us, including the WWF (the World Wildlife Fund), The Ecumenical Council for Corporate Responsibility, the U.S. Public Interest Research Group, and the New York lawyers Bernstein Liebhard & Lifshitz, LLP acting for the lead Plaintiffs in a U.S. class action lawsuit against Royal Dutch Shell plc (and others) in respect of the Shell reserves scandal.
The World Wild Life Fund, U.S. PIRG and the ECCR all appealed through the medium of my websites for Shell shareholders to support resolutions to be put to Shell shareholders at the inaugural Royal Dutch Shell Plc AGM in May 2006. The ECCR was successful in recruiting more than the required 100 shareholders as a result of its various appeals for support and the relevant resolution has been accepted by Royal Dutch Shell Plc.
With regard to the class action, Bernstein Liebhard & Lifshitz has confirmed that my website successfully generated a shareholder, Mr Peter M Wood, to act as a representative of all non-U.S. Shell shareholders in the class action. As a result, a motion has been filed with the appropriate U.S. District Court.
Do I have the attention of Shell senior management? Absolutely!
A Shell whistleblower, Dr John Huong, a former Shell geologist of 29 years standing is currently the subject of a High Court Injunction and Restraining Order collectively obtained by EIGHT Royal Dutch Shell companies in respect of articles posted under his name on my website. Shell served “NOTICE TO SHOW CAUSE” proceedings against him on 15 March 2006 for alleged contempt of court in respect of alleged “persistent internet postings” on my site, with a potential penalty of imprisonment or fine.
A further indicator that I have Shell management well and truly rattled is that I am in possession of an internal email between three top people at Royal Dutch Shell, including its Chief Executive Officer, Mr Jeroen van der Veer, which fell into my hands. It contains a discussion concerning my activities and mentions a plan which is activated whenever I contact anyone, so your Editor can expect to hear from Shell if you post my comments!
For anyone interested in why I have a gripe against Shell, or to learn more about the WIPO decision, or Shell’s case against Dr Huong, you are cordially invited to visit www.royaldutchshellplc.com
http://news.com.com/5208-1030-0.html?forumID=1&threadID=15271&messageID=129405&start=-1
RELATED ARTICLE
Net defamation suit leads to libel award
By Graeme Wearden
Special to CNET News.com
Published: March 23, 2006, 7:41 AM PST
Michael Keith Smith of the U.K. Independence Party has become the latest person to win substantial damages after being defamed on the Internet.
Smith brought the case against Tracy Williams after she posted a series of derogatory remarks about him on an online discussion board run by Yahoo. Williams has been ordered to pay more than $29,500 (17,000 pounds) after being found guilty of libel.
The accusations, which included claims that Smith was a racist and guilty of sexual offenses, were made as part of an online discussion about the Iraq war in 2003.
Smith had argued in favor of the conflict, which prompted Williams to label him a “lard brain” and later to falsely claim that he had sexually harassed a colleague.
Williams' remarks were made under a pseudonym, and in 2004, Smith obtained a court order forcing Yahoo to reveal the identity of the poster. He then brought his case to the High Court, claiming that Williams had continued to abuse him online.
Judge Alistair MacDuff, who heard the case, ordered Williams to pay Smith $17,365 (10,000 pounds) in damages and never again to repeat the remarks, which he described as “seriously defamatory.” Williams, who did not file a defense, must also pay 7,200 pounds in court costs.
Legal experts have suggested that Smith's victory could encourage other people to file libel lawsuits.
A landmark case in 2000, Godfrey v. Demon, established that statements posted online were not beyond the reach of the law, and this case looks to have set a similarly important precedent.
Graeme Wearden of ZDNet UK reported from London. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellenergy.website, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net and shell2004.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.
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