Letter to the Parliamentary Commissioner
for Standards from Mr Sarosh Zaiwalla
Thank you for your letter of 3 March 2000. My
reply is as follows:
I have recollection of Mr Vaz mentioning Ravi
Shankar's daughter's event to me. However, if this event was held
in July 1997, then even though I may have been invited to sponsor
some of the organisational expenses for the event, I had definitely
not sponsored it. I somehow have an impression in my mind (quite
possibly wrongly) that the second dinner which I did not attend
was connected with Ravi Shankar's daughter. Maybe she simply was
going to attend it and Keith had mentioned this to me. I cannot
remember for sure. In any case, I believe this to be irrelevant.
As I said before I had personally attended only
one of the two events which my firm and I had supported which
was the Jack Straw dinner. I recall receiving an invitation for
another dinner from the organisers at Asian Business Network to
attend along with my guests and two of my friends, Mr & Mrs
Gupta, had attended as my guests. I have in my letter of 14 February
2000 already provided you with evidence of the two payments in
1998 of £500 each in respect of both these events.
These were the only two events organised and/or
supported by Mr Vaz which my firm and I supported at a total cost
My answer to your second query is that two representatives
called in person on behalf of the appeal organisers. I cannot
say (because of the passage of time) with any degree of certainty
whether it was I or Mr Brown who actually handed over the cash
to the individuals concerned.
I would like to take this opportunity to enclose
copies of my letters to Ms Philippa Evans of the Office for the
Supervision of Solicitors and the Director of the Office for the
Supervision of Solicitors. I would bring to your attention that
Mr Milne's allegations, knowledge of which on his own admission
he purports to have gathered during the course of his employment
with this firm, places him in breach of his legal duty of confidentiality,
which breach may be relevant for the purpose of your investigation.
A solicitor who knowingly breaches his legal duty of confidentiality
commits a grave act of professional misconduct.
Finally, I enclose a copy (not printed) of a
letter of appreciation which I have received today from one of
the guests who attended the last Asian Business Breakfast Club
event of which I thought you might like to see.
I would be pleased to assist you any further.
7 March 2000