D J Freeman
43 Fetter Lane
London EC4A 1JU.
2 September 2000
‘it would have been defamatory of
our clients and the financial consequences for broadcaster and production
company could have been severe.’
‘subject to the warning that Shell
will take whatever action it sees fit in order to protect its reputation from
‘Our clients have made no attempt
to stop you publishing fair and accurate facts and have encouraged you to report
your concerns to the relevant authorities.
They would however, have no hesitation in protecting their reputation
from defamatory attacks.’
‘Should you attempt to issue the Statement of Case as drafted, you are on notice that we will apply to strike it out and seek Orders for costs against you.’
Now less than three weeks after your first letter, your latest letter
reintroduces, in its opening paragraph, Shell’s previous strategy of utilizing
personal abuse, as per 1993/4 to discredit the messenger and hence deflect
attention away from Shell’s 1968 wholesale nuclear dumping.
The said letter is closed (it only consists of two paragraphs!) with a
continuation of your clients’ policy of issuing threats to silence those
seeking to expose its nuclear dumping crimes.
I feel ‘your’ first and last letters somehow perfectly encapsulate
Shell and its associates, in a way I could never aspire to equal.
You will recall that I specifically asked you to
confirm that you have received my fax log, showing that my letter of the 15
August was transmitted and received by you, on the 15 August.
Yet, you have chosen to ignore this request.
I therefore take it as read that you have received the said log, which
confirms the facts, as stated.
You have further chosen not to respond as to whether
or not you are/were a member of Shell’s ‘defence committee’.
I believe your silence speaks volumes.
You are apparently now back to instructing (requiring)
me. The ‘instruction’ again
concerns ‘your’ letter of the 11 August (Shell’s threats to frighten off
myself and the media). Yet again, I
state that I will be delighted to comply with your ‘instruction’, once you
have forwarded a Statement of Truth in support of the said letter of the 11
August 2000. In order to further
assist, I shall accept your very own signature, (Marcus Rutherford) along with a
letter repeating your claim that you have personally examined Shell’s files,
concerning this matter. Hence, you
can sign the Statement of Truth with confidence that you will be able to defend
the letter and yourself, in open court.
Alternatively, perhaps Shell’s legal head may be
persuaded to step forward to offer his signature to the said Statement of Truth.
On the other hand, perhaps Mark Moody-Stuart chairman of Shell Transport
& Trading will lead the way. I
somehow doubt it.
In any event, rest assured that I shall, once my
leaflet/draft is satisfactory, be sending copies to Shell’s legal head Richard
Wiseman, Mark Moody-Stuart, Graeme Sweeney, M A van den Bergh the
head of Royal Dutch Shell and yourself. I
will give Shell notice as to when I intend to distribute the leaflets at
Thornton Research Centre.
Your closing paragraph/threat stated; ‘that I
should take no comfort’.
As a piece of gratuitously offensive and odious writing, it will take
some beating. For the last twenty
months, or so, I have done everything in my power, in an effort to get Shell to
face up to its responsibilities. For
the record, none of this gives me any ‘comfort’ whatsoever, quite the
reverse. How could it?
Countless tens of thousands of our fellow citizens are about to receive
just about the most devastating news possible, and in the most improper manner
without any warning or counselling. Mindful
of this, I have endeavoured to behave in the most responsible manner and
consequently treated all parties equally and fairly, only to find I am
confronted with a deeply cynical and corrupt multinational
Despite this, you will recall in my very first letter to you, I once
again offered to hand over my evidence; this was contemptously rejected without
any concern expressed or otherwise, for Shell’s victims.
Before I forget, as I understand the Woolf reforms,
the parties are to obliged to have exhausted all possible means of resolving
their dispute prior to issuing court proceedings, I note after only a matter of
days you write to inform that your client (Shell) will not engage in the
the threats, personnel abuse and your failure (policy) to address the issues
raised in my correspondence, at this very late hour, in view of the
consequences, I repeat my offer(s) to hand over my evidence on terms.
M A van den Bergh