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 Mark Stephens, Finers Stephens Innocent, Solicitors

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 is.

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.[1]

8 February 2001

1  Not printed. Back

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