Examination of Witness (Questions 560
TUESDAY 6 FEBRUARY 2001
560. Who told you about the character of these
(Mr Zaiwalla) Mr Vaz would have phoned me.
561. And he said, "There are two men coming.
I can vouch for them. Give them £1,000." Was that it?
(Mr Zaiwalla) No, sir.
562. Tell me what it was.
(Mr Zaiwalla) Mr Vaz phoned me up and said, "You've
not paid. You owe £1,000 to this charitable event, and the
charity is sending somebody to collect it. Would you please honour
563. That gave you the assurance that those
two men were responsible enough to hand over £1,000 to them?
(Mr Zaiwalla) Yes, sir.
564. You got a receipt for that, I think you
(Mr Zaiwalla) We would have obtained a receipt. The
bookkeeper would have taken a receipt, because it has passed the
audit, and we would not have passed the audit if there was no
receipt. I suspect that the receipt is now not available because
either Mr Milne has removed itbecause Mr Milne had removed
a lot of documents which would incriminate him, and the first
thing that Mr Milne did when he was caught was to give me a blackmail
threat that if I complained to the police he would spoil my name
and cause me embarrassment. I went through with the arbitration,
obtained an award, I did complain to the police, because I had
nothing to hide.
565. Mr Brown was the bookkeeper you sent to
the bank. You told that to the Commissioner on 24 May 2000. You
told the Commissioner that Mr Brown collected the cash, he came
back with the cash and he came and saw you and the two men?
(Mr Zaiwalla) No, he would not have seen me.
566. How did the cash pass from Mr Brown to
(Mr Zaiwalla) I will tell you, sir, exactly what happened.
In my old office at 95A Chancery Lane the reception was just outside
my office, therefore the receptionist would have told me that
"Somebody's come to see you to collect a cheque", and
I would have gone out.
567. That cheque was signed by you?
(Mr Zaiwalla) In the first instance the receptionist
would simply have told me that "Somebody has come to collect
a cheque", so I would have gone to see them, because I would
not have called them in. I said, "What is it?", and
they said, "Mr Vaz has said that you're going to pay for
the outstanding sponsorship amount for our charity." I would
have asked Brian Brown, the bookkeeper, to make out a cheque,
and I think Brian Brown would have then come and said to me that
they want cash. I would have gone out and asked them why do they
want cash; in a rush I would have said, "Okay, fine, give
them the cash." That is all that would have happened.
568. But you signed the cheque for cash?
(Mr Zaiwalla) I signed the cheque.
569. Payable to cash?
(Mr Zaiwalla) Payable to cash.
570. And you signed that cheque in the receptionist's
office or in your own office?
(Mr Zaiwalla) In the reception. Sorry, it may be in
my own office.
571. So you heard that they wanted cash. Mr
Brown presumably made out the cheque for cash, and in your office
or in the reception you signed the cheque, and he went and collected
the money, is that it?
(Mr Zaiwalla) It could be, but to be accurate, sir,
it may have been made out to the name of the charity, and then
made out to cash later on. I do not know. It is so many years
ago, it is very difficult for me to say with any degree of certainty.
572. Anyway, you signed the cheque and you went
out and got the money?
(Mr Zaiwalla) I would not have gone to the bank myself.
573. No, Mr Brown presumably went to the bank,
got the money, came back with the money, and then how did he transfer
the money to you?
(Mr Zaiwalla) He would not have given it directly
to me but paid it directly to the people.
574. Directly to the people?
(Mr Zaiwalla) Yes, against the receipt.
575. Who were waiting in the reception?
(Mr Zaiwalla) Waiting in the reception, yes.
576. And you were satisfied with that?
(Mr Zaiwalla) I saw nothing wrong, because I had made
a commitment to give £1,000 to a charity, and I had honoured
577. You felt that that was a sufficient way
to proceed, a satisfactory way to proceed, to give to two men
whom you did not know, and on the basis of Mr Vaz telling you
that they were okay, you handed the money over to them?
(Mr Zaiwalla) They represented a charity.
578. The money was handed over to them in your
(Mr Zaiwalla) I was in the office next door.
579. But you did not see the money handed over?
(Mr Zaiwalla) I knew that the money would be handed
over, but I do not think I actually would have seen the money
being handed over.