Letter to the Parliamentary Commissioner
from Mr Tom Bower
In reply to your letter of 4 April 2001:
1) I did ask Mr Robinson directly if he had been
paid and received the £200,000 from Hollis. This was after
he had confirmed the authenticity of the 'Orchards' invoice.
2) He agreed that he had been paid.
3) He explained that the invoice was for his work
at Locks (a Hollis subsidiary).
4) He asked whether I knew the identity of the account
into which the £200,000 was paid? I replied that I did not.
He asked in a challenging manner which suggested that his question
was rhetorical and he knew the answer. He did not deny that the
money had been paid.
We briefly discussed his standard reply that neither
he nor a company associated with him got the money. I mentioned
that this side-stepped the possibility that an off-shore trust
might have been the recipient. Afterall, Caddock wrote on the
invoice that Mr Robinson wanted the money 'personally' and was
not VAT registered. I do not believe that he reacted to that point.
Concerning your last point, I inferred that he had
told the committee that he had not solicited the payment by his
statement that his directorship of Pergamon was unpaid. Since
he stated that he was an unremunerated director, he explicitly
implies that he did not solicit payment.
Furthermore, in reply to question (ii) listed in
Appendix 5 (p.xxv) of the July 1998 report, Mr Robinson is asked
whether he expected any benefit. He replied in Appendix 6 'No',
which explicitly excludes the presentation of an invoice for £200,000.
On page xxviii Mr Robinson states that 'this remuneration
was not agreed by me'. That suggests that he did not ask for the
I hope this is helpful.
5 April 2001