Freemanreply 3
Home Up Fremanreply 4 Freeman's letter Shell's lawyers




Marcus Rutherford

D J Freeman

43 Fetter Lane

London EC4A 1JU.

2 September 2000 

Your ref   MWR/PAS/011311999 

Dear Mr Rutherford, 

Thank you for your letter dated 1 September.  Your first letter, of the 11 August opened this correspondence with a series of threats: 

‘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 false attacks.’ 

‘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.’

Etc., etc.

 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 corporation.  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 process. 

Despite 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. 

Yours sincerely,


John Dyer.


cc Richard Wiseman

cc Mark Moody-Stuart

cc Graeme Sweeney

cc M A van den Bergh