Examination of Witness (Questions 120
TUESDAY 30 JANUARY 2001
KAPASI OBE DL MKD
120. It may be, Chairman, an abbreviation of
(Mr Kapasi) As I said, I am trying to remember.
121. To move on, Mr Kapasi, you said you did
not give Mr Vaz cash in envelopes, white or brown. You also told
journalists that you gave three cheques to Mr Vaz or organisations
that he was involved in. One of those is Sahara. That bit you
do accept, do you not?
(Mr Kapasi) Yes, I do accept that.
122. The cheque you gave to Sahara, because
you have stated in conversations with journalists that of the
three cheques you gave Mr Vaz, two were from your personal account
and one was from Dawoodi. Was it the Dawoodi cheque that went
to Sahara or was it a personal cheque that went to Sahara? Can
(Mr Kapasi) It was a personal cheque amounting to
£52 which I paid to Sahara Trust. No other payments have
been made and my books and records are available for independent
audit which would verify if at all I have made payments to any
political party. The only transactions you will find are that
I make regular donations to a number of charities I am involved
123. Is Mr Vaz involved in any of those charities?
(Mr Kapasi) Not to my knowledge.
124. Does Mr Vaz have any connections with Dawoodi
to your knowledge?
(Mr Kapasi) I do not believe so.
125. Have you ever at any stage given any cash
or cheques to an organisation called Mapesbury? Have you heard
of that organisation or have you made any payments to them? It
is a simple question.
(Mr Kapasi) No, I cannot recollect. You see, the donations
would mainly be to national organisations, the NSPCC or the Red
126. Another thing I wish to clarify with you,
which again is in the taped conversations, is that in one of them
you say that Mr Vaz gave you a receipt for one of the cheques.
Was that the Sahara cheque?
(Mr Kapasi) Yes, it was. In fact, it is not in the
exhibits. In fact, I have submitted a copy of it to the Commissioner.
It was to the Sahara Trust, the £52 donation, which is a
holy number, which I gave to Mr Vaz.
127. Could you finally tell me, Mr Kapasi, why
you told journalists on tape, in a taped conversation, all these
facts, when you now say it may not be you, you cannot recall them
or they are not true, so why did you then not go on to say that
you would deny all of it?
(Mr Kapasi) First of all, I did not realise I was
being taped, and in fact if you look at the transcript
128. You agreed with me earlier that the truth
is the truth whether it is off the record or not or whether it
is taped or not.
(Mr Kapasi) I think people do, as I explained to you
earlier, bend the truth or do tell things which are not true just
129. Are you saying you did that?
(Mr Kapasi) In the transcripts, yes. I have already
admitted that I already
130. Are you saying you bent the truth in the
(Mr Kapasi) Yes, and I am very embarrassed by it.
131. Precisely what truths in those tapes are
you bending because, as other members of the Committee have demonstrated,
we have a whole load of facts that do not stack up? Which bits
of truth have been bent? Is it the amounts of money you gave Mr
Vaz that have been bent or whether you gave them to him or not?
(Mr Kapasi) You see, the truth and nothing but the
truth is that I have never given any money to Mr Vaz. The only
cheque which I have given him from my personal account is a donation
of £52 to Sahara Trust. That is what stands today.
132. And everything else, every other thing
you told journalists, is where you bent the truth, or are you
bending the truth in giving me this answer?
(Mr Kapasi) I repeat that I have made a grave error
in stating some of the things which I have said, and I do honestly
apologise and I am really very embarrassed by what has been said
in the transcripts.
Shona McIsaac: Thank you for being so
frank with me.
133. If I can continue with that theme, you
say you bent the truth but in fact it is a total fabrication is
what you are saying now, is it not? None of it was true on the
(Mr Kapasi) Yes. I think in the case of The Sunday
Times obviously I tried to retract, once I realised that I
was put in a trap, and I was trapped by the Sunday Times
journalist, and you can see that the phone was put down as soon
as I started to say, "What I told you yesterday was a total
story and it was not factual".
134. I wonder if I can take you back to the
discussions that you may have had with the Leader of the Council,
Peter Soulsby. You have given us the reason why you felt that
you should tell untruths to the press, but was there any discussion
between you and Peter Soulsby about payments to Keith Vaz?
(Mr Kapasi) No. I cannot recollect any conversation
at all regarding payments with Sir Peter Soulsby.
135. You say you cannot recollect them. Could
there have been?
(Mr Kapasi) I very much doubt it because there is
no way I can recollect because I cannot remember.
136. You see, it is so specific that if you
had said that to him at any time, would you not remember it? Forget
the detail. The issue is, "I gave money to Keith Vaz for
planning or something to do with land". That principle, you
say it never happened, but did you ever say anything of that order
to Peter Soulsby?
(Mr Kapasi) You see, my answer is that I really cannot
recollect having this conversation at all with him.
137. You have explained that there was a difference
of opinion which was well known, the two elephants metaphor, between
Mr Vaz and Mr Soulsby. But can you think of any other reason why
Mr Soulsby would be so detailed in his recollection to the extent
that he should write to the Town Clerk if nothing had been said
(Mr Kapasi) I think if Sir Peter Soulsby was so serious
about this, which again are very serious allegations against the
parties involved, then why did he not write to us to get confirmation
in writing, or make enquiries in writing, as any leader would
do, to verify? Why did Mr Arthur Price Jones not raise anything
with us at any time? Why did Sir Peter Soulsby carry it on?
138. They are all very good questions, but the
question to you is, do you have any reason to believe, or any
reason for thinking, Sir Peter Soulsby would just make this up?
(Mr Kapasi) As I mentioned earlier, this is a fight
between the two bull elephants trying to score points at the political
level, and it seems that they could use everything and anything
that comes in their way to achieve their ambition and their goals.
That is the way I would look at it.
139. Let me take you forward to the discussion
you had with the journalists when they called. You said in answer
to one of my colleagues, that they said they had evidence against
you. They were your words. What did you think they had against
(Mr Kapasi) They had clearly detailed information
of the correspondence I had received marked "Confidential"
from the Parliamentary Commissioner and they were fully aware
of the transactions which were going on with other parties within
the city and apparently if you had access to the tape recorded
interview you would hear from Mr Rajeev Syal and also David Leppard
that around 20 letters had been sent to people in Leicester enquiring
about the payments, so they were fully aware how many lettersthey
mentioned the number 20, I think it may be, in the tape.