Thursday, March 8, 2012

#Leveson #Burby #Superinjunction:UK Parliament Reveals Mark Burby Super-Injunction 2

A sends:
There has been one further development in the matter of the Mark Burby super-injunction. Yesterday the High Court published online its judgment in the privacy case at the heart of Burby's evidence to Parliament:
WXY -v- Henry Gewanter, Positive Profile Ltd & Mark Burby
The judgment follows from a hearing in July 2011 and finds against Burby in that it prevents him from publicising the allegations covered in his evidence to Parliament.
The other defendants are Henry Gewanter, a PR consultant, and his agency Positive Profile. Gewanter and his agency were engaged by Burby in 2009.
(Gewanter was also the middleman who passed on details of MPs' expenses to the Daily Telegraph in 2009. The expenses story was a big scandal in the UK, and a journalistic coup for the Telegraph. The Gewanter connection may explain the Telegraph's particular interest in this case.)
The principals are anonymised in the High Court judgment, but for reference:
-- 'WXY' / 'Claimant' is Mariam Abdul Aziz and the 'Head of State' is the Sultan of Brunei. -- 'X' is Michael McGurk. McGurk apparently made tape recordings of conversations in which some of the allegations were made and passed them to Burby. These are referred to in the judgment as the 'Jersey Tapes'.
-- 'M' is a man named Amr Hendawy, apparently an Egyptian national. (Usenet postings from January 2008, linking Mariam Aziz and Amr Hendawy, have been removed by Google following a legal complaint.)
The High Court judgment covers the same ground as Burby's evidence but does provide a few additional threads to pull.
Central to the case against Burby is that during 2009 he set up a website to publicise some of the allegations. That website is referred to in the judgment only as 'A'.
By the time of the hearings in 2011 website 'A' had been taken down. Ironically, that seems to have counted against Burby. The injunction has been upheld in part because: "the information has not entered the public domain so as to render it is no longer private and confidential. It still retains 'the basic attribute of inaccessibility'. It is not public property or public knowledge."
Website 'A' was previously at the domain (According to the Nominet whois record, this domain remains registered to sixbynine, a Jersey-based media company controlled by the Burbys.)
From May through July 2009 the website was also linked to a Twitter account [at]royallyshafted. Tweets to that Twitter account (from May to July 2009) are still online; several mention the Sultan of Brunei.
Although the website itself is no longer active, 'snapshots' of the homepage remain in the Wayback Machine archive at:*/*
Although some of Burby's posts have been lost, the Wayback Machine snapshots enable retrieval of ten posts from May and June 2009 as well as the headers of other posts from April 2009. I have attached a verbatim copy of those posts and headers.
Most of the posts concern Burby's attempts to collect on an earlier civil judgment against a member of the Sultan's family.

However there is one post provocatively titled 'Brunei Royals agent supports 911 attack'.