Select Committee on Standards and Privileges Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence



Letter to the Clerk of the Committee on Standards and Privileges

from Mr Nadhmi Shakir Auchi, Chairman, General Mediterranean Holding

I thank you for your letter dated 16th January 2002, sent by special delivery on 17th January 2002 to my home address. As I had been abroad for an extended business trip until late Saturday 19th January, I only saw it upon my return. On the same day, your letter of 19th December 2001 was also delivered. I have however not received your letter of 9th January that you have referred to in your letter of 16th January and thank you for its copy, which I have now read. In future, may I request that any correspondence to me is sent to my office address?

As you are no doubt aware, we have always dealt with the Parliamentary Commissioner's correspondence promptly and offered the fullest cooperation. With our business interests in all parts of the globe, inevitably there are occasions when I have to be away from my office in London for extended periods of time. As it happens, I am committed to fly out again this afternoon to attend an important business meeting; but in view of your letters, I have delayed my departure until tomorrow so that the matters raised by you can been addressed through this letter.

Following your numerical sequence, I am able to deal with questions raised in your letter of 19th December 2001. Please note:

1.  A copy of my letter of 26th January 1999, confirming Mr Vaz's appointment to the board of General Mediterranean Holding UK Ltd is attached. Whilst the letter states that the appointment was deemed to start on 1 January 1999, Mr Vaz only accepted the appointment, verbally, with effect from 13th April 1999. There was no formal written acceptance. The appointment was restricted to just the one company mentioned. He had no association with any other company in the General Mediterranean organisation. The letter makes it quite clear that the directorship would not be onerous and it is implicit that the role would be a non-executive one, the Board also intending to meet only twice a year.

2.  My aforementioned letter also states that Mr Vaz's fees would be at the rate of US$20,000 per annum.

3.  The amount of the fee offered to Mr Vaz was communicated in my above-mentioned letter of 26th January 1999.

4.  The amount of remuneration paid to Mr Vaz was NIL.

In the series of correspondence with the Parliamentary Commissioner, Mr Husain provided all the information. As the period of Mr Vaz's directorship was so short, the only documentation is my letter of 26th January 1999.

The matter of the 1998 annual report and the commemorative brochure of General Mediterranean Holding SA was explained in Mr Husain's letter of 6th November 2001 to Mrs Filkin.[20] I am pleased to attach a copy for your reference. As requested we also attach copies of the invoices for the printing of the aforementioned report and brochure.

I trust that as your questions have now been answered it therefore will not be necessary for me to attend the meeting of the Committee on Tuesday 22nd January at the House of Commons, permitting me to honour my aforementioned long standing travel commitments.

I will be happy to deal with any other mater that might arise. Kindly note my phone and fax numbers as shown above. Needless to say, your Committee is fully aware of the extended and copious correspondence appertaining to this matter between the Parliamentary Commissioner and members of our board and staff.

As a courtesy I am sending a copy of this letter to the Chairman of your Committee, Sir George Young MP.

21 January 2002

20   See Annex vii12 to Appendix 1. Back

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