7 March 2012
UK Parliament Reveals Mark Burby Super-Injunction 2
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
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
Website 'A' was previously at the domain royallyshafted.co.uk. (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 royallyshafted.co.uk 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'.