Head of state 'funded al-Qaeda and knew of 7/7 terror attacks'
Members of an Asian head of state's family have funded al–Qaeda and had advance knowledge of the July 7 terrorist attacks on London, according to claims made public by MPs and peers yesterday.
By Christopher Hope, and Robert Winnett
8:00AM GMT 25 Feb 2012
A parliamentary committee published a document revealing the details of one of Britain's last remaining super–injunctions.
In the submission to the 26–member committee, Mark Burby, a businessman based in the Channel Islands, claimed that he had been gagged by the "ex–spouse of an Asian head of state" in 2009.
He said the "Asian head of state" – whom he does not identify – was a "substantial" backer of al–Qaeda, and had advance warning of the suicide bombings on London's transport system in 2005.
The ex–wife "and her solicitors have boasted to me and others that she 'owns' the courts in England and Wales and the Government", he said.
Mr Burby alleged the unnamed ex–spouse, whom he described as one of the wealthiest women in the world, had a sexual relationship "with one of her two solicitors", as well as two other men, one of which resulted in her having an abortion.
Last night, lawyers for the claimant threatened The Daily Telegraph with an injunction, but failed to make any application.
The decision by the committee to post the claims on the parliamentary website, represents another challenge to the supremacy of the courts after injunctions involving Ryan Giggs, the footballer, and Fred Goodwin, the former banker, were also exposed by MPs.
According to Mr Burby the super–injunction governed six general areas including "information/allegations concern–ing any personal relationship of any kind between the claimant and a man who is not her ex–husband".
The gagging order covered any "information/allegations" relating to the ex–wife's attempt to secure payment of monies owed by her family, as well as "any allegation that the claimant was involved in or responsible for" a murder, he says.
Mr Burby said he felt compelled to provide the information to parliament's joint committee on privacy and injunctions after Kenneth Clarke, the Lord Chancellor, had told MPs and peers that super–injunctions "are now being granted only for very short periods" and "you cannot have just long–running secret litigation".
Mr Burby said: "That of course is incorrect as the super–injunction against me has been in place since Sept 9 2009. None of the interim rulings made by the judges in these proceedings have been published, even in an anonymised or redacted form." John Whittingdale, the committee's chairman, said yesterday that Mr Burby's evidence was an "interesting and relevant submission", given that his committee had been told by judges that the super–injunctions were now "time–limited" only.
"The points he makes are valid," he said. "It is very difficult for him to make those points without some reference to his own position."
Mr Burby set out other allegations, published on the committee's website, that he said were "pleaded by the claimant as being private and/ or confidential but that are not expressly covered by the terms of the super–injunction (but are impliedly covered by it)".
They included "that the claimant's ex–husband, as a head of state, sympathised with and supported Islamic fundamentalists; that the claimant knew or suspected from conversations with her ex–husband that there would be major terrorist attacks on the UK (7/7) and Israel.
"That the claimant's ex-husband flew a senior member of al–Qaeda to the country of which he is head of state and gave him substantial funding for al–Qaeda."
Mr Burby raised a number of other allegations and said that if these were untrue, "then the proper course is for the claimant to sue in defamation".
He added: "The claimant has been using her immense wealth to harass and bully people with overpowering UK legal process under the protection of a web of interlocking super–injunctions.
"The claimant boasted to a member of staff (who has provided a witness statement) about the assassination of an opponent engaged in litigation against her in another jurisdiction and saying that 'Burby' was next."
News of the gagging order is the latest in a series that have allowed celebrities to cover up sexual scandals using super–injunctions, the very existence of which cannot be reported.
Published in full: super-injunction document at the heart of the attempt to gag Parliament
The Parliamentary document which includes details of one of the last remaining super-injunctions is published in full today by The Daily Telegraph on its website.
By Christopher Hope and Robert Winnett
2:50PM GMT 29 Feb 2012
In the document, Mark Burby, a Channel Islands businessman, claims he was gagged by the “ex–spouse of an Asian head of state” in a super–injunction in 2009.
Archerfield Partners, a firm of solicitors acting for the ex-wife, has made a series of threats against the joint committee over its decision to publish the submission on its website.
In a letter to every member of the 26–strong committee, as well as to the Attorney General Dominic Grieve, a High Court judge and John Bercow, the Speaker of the House of Commons, the firm asked the MPs and peers on the committee to remove the submission “as a matter of extreme urgency” and warned that its continued publication would have diplomatic consequences.
The letter, which was leaked to The Daily Telegraph, said: “We have no doubt that should the committee continue to publish then the injunction will be fully breached and further harm done to our client.
"There is a great deal more damage which could be caused to her, and which could be averted by the timely removal of this material. We hope that the committee will appreciate the serious injustice being done.
“We also hope that the committee will appreciate the diplomatic repercussions of continuing to publish Mr Burby's untested allegations about a friendly head of state in these circumstances.”
However the committee has decided at a private meeting to continue publishing the submission, in the face of the threats.
The attempt to bully the committee threatens to undermine the supremacy of Parliament. It follows widespread criticism of British courts for injuncting the publication of information.
Archerfield also threatened The Daily Telegraph with an injunction ahead of its reporting of Mr Burby’s submission on Friday night. No application was made, however, and the report was published in the following day's newspaper.
John Whittingdale MP, the committee's chairman, said last week that Mr Burby's evidence was an "interesting and relevant submission", given that his committee had been told by judges that super-injunctions were now "time–limited".
The last known attempt to gag the reporting of Parliament was in 2009, when lawyers for Trafigura, an oil firm, attempted to prevent newspapers publishing a parliamentary question.
Trafigura obtained a gagging order preventing any details of the question posed by Paul Farrelly MP being made public. It was abandoned after thousands of users of the Twitter website identified the parties involved.
The committee is made up of both MPs and peers and is considering the system of privacy and injunctions.
They were told earlier this year by Kenneth Clarke, the Lord Chancellor, that super–injunctions “are now being granted only for very short periods" and "you cannot have just long-running secret litigation”.
Mr Burby has featured on this board before, identified in this posting
by Cpt Marginal in the thread Murder and political corruption Sydney, Aus
the gist of which oddly & surely quite coincidentally concerns some acrimonious & shady dealings with a well-known & rather well-off Asian Head of State.....
British property developer claims police protection after Sydney murder
• Businessman fears he may be new target of killers
• Man shot dead had alleged political corruption
Peter Walker and Toni O'Loughlin in Sydney
Wednesday 9 September 2009 22.41 BST
A British property developer said tonight he has been placed under British police protection after fears that he could be targeted by the unknown killers who shot dead a Sydney businessman last week in a case that has gripped Australia.
Mark Burby's claims add fresh intrigue to a convoluted tale that already takes in the fabulously wealthy royal family of Brunei, alleged political corruption and a jewel-encrusted Qur'an supposedly obtained from a former KGB agent.
Burby, a Jersey-based entrepreneur, previously best known for winning a £50m legal case against a company owned by relatives of the Sultan of Brunei, said he had received threats from people whose identities he could not reveal, in phone calls and emails. Jersey police and Scotland Yard were treating the matter seriously and providing protection, he said.
Burby said he was worried because he had access to "delicate" information which had also been known to Michael McGurk, a Scottish-born property developer shot dead in front of his 10-year-old son last Thursday evening. McGurk had been embroiled in separate legal action against the Sultan of Brunei over a matchbox-sized Qu'ran in a jewelled case.
There is no suggestion that the Brunei royal family, who rule the tiny, oil-producing nation on the northern tip of Borneo in south-east Asia, played any role in the businessman's death or are linked to the threats against Burby.
McGurk, 48, who was alleged to have underworld connections and was facing charges relating to an alleged firebombing, was shot as he sat in his Mercedes in the drive of the family's mansion in Cremorne, north Sydney. He had told several people he had an audio tape that implicated New South Wales state ministers in corrupt land deals and someone was trying to kill him because of it.
Burby, 43, said he was convinced his connections to McGurk put him at risk, and that the UK police believed this was the case. "I have been receiving threats, and within them has been a definite inference that the same thing could happen to me as happened to Michael," he said. "I showed an email to the police and they have been fantastic, especially considering the information I gave them sounds like something out of a Tom Clancy novel. It took them less than 20 minutes, having seen some corroborating information, to realise this was a serious situation."
Both the Jersey police and Scotland Yard said they were unable to comment.
Burby's dispute with the Brunei royal family came after the sultan's cousin and sister-in-law promised to invest in a tea and coffee retail chain. Burby claimed the money failed to materialise, and won damages in 2005 of nearly £50m, which he has since sought unsuccessfully to recoup.
McGurk failed in his attempt to sue the Sultan of Brunei for allegedly reneging on the purchase of the tiny £5m Qur'an, which he said had been obtained from a former KGB agent and was to be a gift for the sultan's third wife. In Australia, the shock of McGurk's murder – for which police have yet to identify any suspects – has been compounded by the claims about political corruption.
The Labour premier of New South Wales, Nathan Rees, agreed to launch a parliamentary inquiry into allegations arising from the case that planning approval was improperly given to people associated with McGurk.
McGurk, who arrived in Australia in his early 20s, reportedly made a habit of learning "interesting things" about associates to use when deals soured. After his death it emerged that three months ago he had played his supposedly incriminating audio tape to a Labour former federal cabinet minister turned PR executive, Graham Richardson, concerning one of his clients
Although Richardson claimed the tape was inaudible at a crucial section, police have passed the matter to the independent commission against corruption.