Letter to the Clerk of the Committee on
Standards and Privileges from Mr Mark Stephens, Finers Stephens
I thank you for sending me copy of the letter of
31 January that you sent to Mr Kapasi. I have asked him to make
the amendments and hopefully by the time that you receive this
letter both you and I should have received the amended transcript.
A number of points have arisen and I will deal with
them as they arise from the transcript or otherwise.
As a preliminary point we would record that, given
the concerns that have been expressed about the commissioner and
the process and procedures that she had undertaken, I was surprised
that she was present at the committee meeting and passing notes
to members of the committee. It had been the understanding of
Mr Kapasi that whilst the commissioner would be present, that
as it was her report that was in effect being considered by an
independent committee that she would not participate.
If there has been some fundamental misunderstanding
on our part as to the process, perhaps you would bear this in
mind for the future when the committee calls our 3rd party evidence
if I have advise me of what the appropriate process and procedure
You wrote a second letter on 31 January to Mr Kapasi.
You did not copy that letter to me. You are aware that this firm
represents Mr Kapasi and that historically he has asked not only
the Chairman but also the commissioner on several occasions that
letters be directed via this office and not to him directly. We
are surprised that this continues to be a problem for you. If
you propose to continue corresponding with Mr Kapasi perhaps you
would explain why and on what basis?
In paragraph 50 of the transcript Mr Kapasi offered
his books and records for an independent audit. He did not offer
them to the commissioner who he does not accept as independent.
Please let us know which firm of accountants have been appointed
and we will get in touch with them directly. Since dictating this
part of the letter Mrs Filkin has been in touch on this issue.
I have explained the position and Mr Kapasi will happily comply.
As regards the Dawoodi community, Mr Kapasi is advised
by the president that as with many such groups there are insufficient
physical records still in existence for a comprehensive audit
but that they reaffirm that; no amount has in any event been paid
to Mr Vaz by the community.
At paragraph 107 on page 22 of the transcript I note
that the date January 1999 which was clearly written down by me
as January 1999 on both occasions has been recorded by the transcript
writer or by subsequent amendment as 1991. Please will you confirm
whether the date 1991 was in the original transcript made by the
committee reporter or by subsequent amendment. If so, who was
the person that made that subsequent amendment?
I have asked Mr Kapasi to send to you a copy of the
planning permission so that the point is clear and beyond doubt.
As requested I enclose copies of the letter of request
to Mr Vaz and also a newspaper story explaining the background
to the letter.
8 February 2001
1 Not printed. Back