Letter to the Parliamentary Commissioner
for Standards from Mr Brian Brown
Thank you for your letter dated 11 February
I only became aware of your investigation on
9 February when a reporter from the Sunday Telegraph telephoned
me at home to inform me that an earlier telephone conversation
I had had with one Andrew Milne had been taped and passed to your
office. I should at this point tell you that because of certain
methods employed by the Sunday Telegraph to coerce a statement
from me about events of which I knew absolutely nothing, I declined
all invitations to speak to them and that will remain to be the
case. I personally believe that the above mentioned Andrew Milne
who partially lost a civil action in the High Court brought by
Mr Sarosh Zaiwalla last year began a campaign to discredit Mr
Zailwalla through media attention. That, of course, may not be
of any assistance with your enquiry.
To address the question asked in your letter,
I will say that I was never present at any discussions, meetings
or other transactions between Mr Zaiwalla and Mr Baldry. Indeed,
as I understand it, allegations relate to 1997 or after and I
ceased to be an employee of Mr Zaiwalla in November 1994.
I do, however, recall that a payment of I think
£1,000 was made to Mr Vaz by Mr Zaiwalla for what I seem
to recall was described as being for an "office fund".
I do not, however, remember the date upon which the payment was
made though it was whilst Mr Zaiwalla's practice was housed at
95A Chancery Lane which I suppose makes it prior to May 1994.
I have been informed by the Sunday Telegraph reporter that a statement
by a third party (whom I assume is Andrew Milne) stated that I
was initially requested to hand Mr Vaz a cheque which was refused
and the payment was requested in cash which I withdrew from the
firm's bank and handed in an envelope to Mr Vaz. This may or may
not be the case, I simply cannot be certain though I suspect that
it could be the case. I was certainly not involved in any discussions
which led to the payment being made nor was I made aware whether
the payment was a gift or a loan.
I trust this reply has been of some use and
please feel free to contact me again if you feel I can assist
16 February 2000