Examination of Witness (Questions 540
TUESDAY 6 FEBRUARY 2001
540. What was the largest sum that you paid
(Mr Zaiwalla) The largest sum which I paid was in
1994 for an event which I had agreed to sponsora charitable
event which I had agreed to sponsorand that was £1,000.
If my memory serves me correct, it was an Indian cyclone disaster
appeal. I had agreed to sponsor that charitable event some time
in 1993October or September of 1993but the payment
of which was made much later in 1994.
541. How did you make that payment?
(Mr Zaiwalla) We had not made the payment. Individuals
from that charity came along, and I made the payment to them.
542. In what form?
(Mr Zaiwalla) It was paid in cash to them.
543. Why was it paid in cash?
(Mr Zaiwalla) Very simplebecause they wanted
the payment in cash, because the payment was late. I can tell
you very, very frankly, I was in my office at 95A Chancery Lane,
which is not my current office. I have a very busy practice; it
is a smallish practice, but a very, very busy practice. I knew
they were coming because I owed them £1,000 for some sponsorship
which my firm had taken for this charitable event. They said that
because of the urgency they wanted the payment in cash, and the
payment was made in cash. That is why.
544. It seems strange to require a payment in
cash for an emergency fund. Presumably that money was not going
to be handed over to the fund in cash form?
(Mr Zaiwalla) Sir, I would not have considered it
strange, because if they came along and said that "Because
you made the payment late", and because they wanted to make
use of the money, "would you mind giving cash?" My bookkeeper
would have taken a receipt for that payment, and that payment
would have gone through our books as a donation.
545. You got a receipt for it?
(Mr Zaiwalla) Would have taken it. I do not have the
receipt now, but would have taken a receipt, because that payment
has gone through the audit.
546. You would have had a receipt from whom?
(Mr Zaiwalla) Whoever received the £1,000.
547. From the fund itself?
(Mr Zaiwalla) No, I would have To whoever I
paid the money; he would have acknowledged it.
548. Yes, but you gave the money to Mr Vaz,
did you not?
(Mr Zaiwalla) I did not give it to Mr Vaz.
549. That £1,000whom did you give
(Mr Zaiwalla) I gave it to the representatives of
the charity event. I never gave anything to Mr Vaz.
550. Have you never given cash to Mr Vaz?
(Mr Zaiwalla) I have never given anything to Mr Vaz.
I have taken an oath, and I will say I have never given anything
to Mr Vaz. Mr Vaz has never asked me for money, and it is completely
untrue. These false allegations have been made against me by Mr
Milne simply to malign me.
551. So when the cash came to you, was Mr Vaz
(Mr Zaiwalla) No, he was not present.
552. He was not present at any time when you
(Mr Zaiwalla) No, he was not present, and there is
no suggestion that he was present. Sir, I am very concerned, because
both in the case of Mr Baldry and in the case of the allegation
against Mr Vaz, the real intent of Mr Milne is to malign me. I
have been damaged, and my practice, which a year before was £***,
is down to £*** this year, because I have overseas clients
and they have refused to come to me because of the allegations
of corrupt dealings. These allegations are completely untrue.
Sir, may I also say this: that Mr Milne has been investigated
by the police and by the OSS. Sir Brian Neill, in his arbitration
award, has found that he had stolen money from my firm. There
is an Arbitration Tribunal award which he has not honoured, and
he has now gone bankrupt.
553. That £1,000 was made out to the fund.
What was the name of the fund?
(Mr Zaiwalla) That £1,000 was made out as cash.
554. Yes, and handed to whom?
(Mr Zaiwalla) Handed to the two representatives of
the charity which came.
555. What were their names?
(Mr Zaiwalla) I would not remember now, sir.
556. Not the name of the charity?
(Mr Zaiwalla) No, no. (After speaking with Miss
Chapman) It was an Indian disaster, but we do not know the
precise name of the charity.
557. An Indian disaster?
(Mr Zaiwalla) An Indian cyclone appeal fund, but I
knew nothing more about the charity, because precisely the circumstances
in which it happened were that Mr VazI think it was an
event in the House of Commons, an Asian event in the House of
558. What did you know about these two men (I
take it they were) who came and asked you for this money for this
fund? What did you know about them?
(Mr Zaiwalla) I did not know anything about them.
559. You gave £1,000 to people you knew
(Mr Zaiwalla) Sir, I knew they were coming to collect
the sponsorship money which I had agreed to pay.