Select Committee on Standards and Privileges Seventh Report

Annex RR

E-mail to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards

from Mr Kevin Maxwell

Please see my replies below.


Thank you for your helpful reply to my letter of April 2nd 2001 and offer of further assistance with my enquiry.

[Kevin Maxwell] Please let me know if indeed you did receive directly from Dechert the copies of 1999 letter and attendance note.

Please would you let me know the following:

1.  Who attended the C&S Board meeting on 7th December 1990?

[KEVIN MAXWELL] Given the passage time and in the absence of contemporaneous documentation including board minutes or access to my electronic diary (copies were, as of 1996, maintained by the SF and I believe Price Waterhouse) I cannot assist you.

2.  Where was it held?

[KEVIN MAXWELL] Without access to the minute book, I cannot assist you. Typically board meetings involving corporate transactions (ie transactions above the operating level involving my father would have been held either at his office at Maxwell House, Fetter Lane or at his office in the MGN building on Holborn Circus.

3.  What discussion took place at any time on 7 December concerning payment to Geoffrey Robinson for his services, or the services provided by TransTec, to any other company?

[KEVIN MAXWELL] As my previous response has indicated, I recall many conversations with Geoffrey Robinson about compensation and fees over time. However, I cannot independently recall any specific meeting on December 7, 1990. Some of these conversations would have involved discussions about his role at TransTec.

4.  What sorts of payments were you and Michael Stoney able to make in 1990 without the agreement of the late Mr Robert Maxwell?

[KEVIN MAXWELL] As per my previous evidence, only my father had the power to commit the company and spend cash on his own authority and with his sole signatory. Specifically no payments or compensation in cash or in kind would be made to any "internal" or "external" director by Michael Stoney or me acting together ob any combination of authorised signatories and or directors without the express approval and instructions normally in writing (which could be a simple initial on a piece of paper) but sometimes verbal of my father.

5.  Did you or you and Mr Stoney ever make any such payment to Mr Robinson or to TransTec, either without authorization from the late Mr Maxwell or with this authorization?

[KEVIN MAXWELL] Any payment to Geoffrey Robinson must have been approved/instructed by my father.

6.  You say you now believe that Pergamon made the payment and that the invoice and handwritten annotations are authentic.

[KEVIN MAXWELL] For the avoidance of doubt I have said that I believe that the invoice and annotations are authentic. On the balance of probabilities Pergamon made the payment. What I have gone on to say is that without accurate banking information it will not be possible to be certain one way or the other and above all it will not be possible to identify the beneficiary with certainty.

Do you now recall signing the cheque in question?


Who else other than you was authorized to sign that particular cheque (00 1751)?

[KEVIN MAXWELL] I have no specific recollection of the cheque in question. I cannot recall unaided the details of the bank mandate. My father would have had sole signatory rights up to any amount. I recall that Michael Stoney and I were amongst the next level of signatories — ie where 2 directors were required to sign off and that our limit together would definitely have exceeded £200,000. However, each payment at this amount would have required the authorisation/approval/instruction of my father.

Who do you believe signed the cheque in question?

[KEVIN MAXWELL] Michael Stoney would probably be able to assist you on this issue better than I, however, to the best of my recollection this type of payment would normally have been signed off by my father alone, or might have been signed off by Michael Stoney and another director (including myself) or indeed any two directors once my father's authorisation and instructions had been made clear. But for the avoidance of doubt, I have no specific recollection of the cheque in question.

If you were able to provide me with additional contemporaneous documentation, I will undertake to review the material and let you know what, if any, additional information may be triggered by such a review.

3 April 2001

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