WHEATCROFT-TIGER TANK LEGAL STATEMENT

 
 
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Kevin Wheatcroft has instructed us, his lawyers, to prepare this statement in answer to a number of wildly inaccurate and defamatory statements which have appeared on various sites in the last 12-24 months.

 

Statement of Kevin Wheatcroft – April 2011
INTRODUCTION

Kevin Wheatcroft has instructed us, his lawyers, to prepare this statement in
answer to a number of wildly inaccurate and defamatory statements which have
appeared on various sites in the last 12-24 months. Kevin Wheatcroft has so far
refrained from making any comments in reply to the many unfounded allegations.
However, as the posting of persistently inaccurate information and allegations
continues particularly after publication of documents relating to a trial in Sweden
he has given us instructions to prepare this statement.
Also he will establish an internet mail address for a period of seven days from
today’s date. He will reply to any reasonable questions arising from this statement
or the facts giving rise to it.

The allegations relate to the circumstances in which a Tiger Tank came into his
possession and also relate to the circumstances in which an engine and gear box
formerly in a museum in Sweden came into his possession.

This statement is intended, first, to set the record straight so that all concerned
may know the true circumstances leading to the items coming into his possession.
It is also the intention of this statement to put an end to the substantial malicious
and erroneous speculation that appears on the various websites. Having taken this
step of publishing full particulars of his involvement and offering to answer any
reasonable questions arising from this statement, if further unfounded allegations
are repeated he will take action as necessary to protect his reputation including
action against individuals, internet service providers and internet forums who
permit publication of defamatory and abusive material.

WHEATCROFT COLLECTION
Kevin Wheatcroft is a reputable business man with an interest in the collection and
restoration to a usable condition of World War II military equipment principally
tanks. His collection is extensive and well known. It is a private collection but
illustrations of items that can be found in the collection are given at website
www.wheatcroftcollection.com. The collection is entirely legitimate. Kevin
Wheatcroft does not and will not engage in any unlawful activity to procure any of
his collection. Any suggestion that he has obtained improperly any item in the
collection is false and defamatory.

THIRD PARTY DEALINGS

Because of his reputation as a collector he receives invitations to purchase items
from various sources that will supposedly enhance his collection. If Mr Wheatcroft
has any doubt about the integrity of the person offering items or the integrity of
the item itself he will not deal with that person nor will he acquire the item on
offer. However from time to time notwithstanding his best endeavours to satisfy
himself of the integrity of the people with whom he comes in contact there are or
there emerge facts which were previously unknown that cast doubt on the integrity
of the transaction.

ENGINE AND GEAR BOX
Insofar as the engine and gear box is concerned Kevin Wheatcroft was approached
by Daniel Misik in 2004 when Mr Misik offered a Maybach engine to him. Mr
Wheatcroft agreed to make the purchase and the Maybach engine is now part of his
collection. There was never any suggestion that the transaction undertaken with
Mr Misik on that occasion was anything other than lawful.
On a later occasion Daniel Misik again approached Kevin Wheatcroft with the offer
of an engine and gear box then on display by a Swedish museum. He was told the
items were available in exchange for other display items. In view of the previous
experience with Mr Wheatcroft in dealing with Mr Misik at the time of first contact
he had no reason to believe that there was anything wrong with the transaction. It
only later turned out that the circumstances whereby Mr Misik was in a position to
offer the engine and gear box were unlawful.

Kevin Wheatcroft accepted the offer and in due course took possession of the
engine and gear box. The first time he was aware of anything untoward with these
items was when his home was raided by the police early one morning. He was
accused of theft by the police. He and his family were shocked by the unfounded
allegation. When the full nature of the transaction was explained to him he
immediately offered to return the items to the museum and he co-operated fully
with the police so that criminal proceedings could be brought against Mr Misik. No
allegations of wrong doing were ever made against Mr Wheatcroft nor have
proceedings ever been brought against him. He is aware that court papers relating
to the prosecution are circulating on the internet. He has not authorised the
publication of any documents but it is manifest from these documents that he was
not engaged in any unlawful activity nor has he sought to cause any harm to any
person in relation to the acquisition of these articles.

TIGER TANKS AND THE US ARMY

The second series of emails relates to his interest in a Tiger Tank.
There is confusion and consequently inaccurate information circulating regarding
the tank. The items now in his possession do not constitute a complete tank. They
were held in a German museum. Its curator is well known to Kevin Wheatcroft. He
was approached by the curator of a US museum to ask for help in retrieving three
tanks from various German museums as the German museums were uncooperative
in returning them to America. Kevin Wheatcroft agreed to rescue the three tanks in
question and deliver them to the UK, where he was to take over control. The
vehicles were to remain in the Wheatcroft Collection for an unspecified time for
the purposes of restoring them. Sadly the restoration work did not take place
because the American museum would not agree to a contract for the work. The
tanks were recovered in accordance with the arrangement with the American
museum over 10 years ago. All shipping and movement documents are in Mr
Wheatcrofts possession.

The American Army has indicated that it would like to recover possession of the
parts and other items in the collection. Mr Wheatcroft has not refused to return
the tank but not unreasonably, he has asked that all his expenses incurred in
connection with restoration and removal to the UK be reimbursed. He has offered
to retain the items for the purposes of making a replica and restoring an original.
So far the US Army has not made any further response to these proposals. It is
entirely erroneous to suggest Mr Wheatcroft has refused to return the items. It is
for the US Army to decide how it wishes to proceed.

FUTURE ACTION

The continued repetition of inaccurate information is damaging to Mr Wheatcroft’s
reputation and must cease if legal action is to be avoided.
Some of the unreasoned and unreasoning postings indicate that the authors have no
interest in understanding the truth of the situation but only an interest in
publishing defamatory and abusive statements about Mr Wheatcroft. The authors
of the postings are all warned that further repetition of their actions will have
grave consequences.

As stated earlier Mr Wheatcroft is prepared to answer any reasonable questions
emailed to wheatcroftquestions@gmail.com in the course of the next 7 days (the 7
day period for questions to be put is 21 – 28 April 2011 – questions received after 28
April 2011 will not be answered). Mr Wheatcroft will require a period of 14 days to
answer any reasonable questions received. Thereafter any repetition of the
defamatory remarks made on the websites will result in action. This statement has
been sent to the internet forums responsible for hosting defamatory content on
blog sites.