Examination of witness (Questions 220
TUESDAY 30 JANUARY 2001
220. You have seen a copy of the transcript
of the conversation between him and journalists, have you?
(Mr Vaz) Yes, I have.
221. He has said to us that the content of those
transcripts is lies. Do you know why he would want to lie about
you and make accusations of a criminal nature against you?
(Mr Vaz) No.
222. Have you no idea at all?
(Mr Vaz) No. I have read the transcripts of what has
been said, and frankly I was very hurt because one of the points
says that I own a house or a hotel in Goa which I do not. I wish
I did. People say all kinds of things. Journalists are now more
than ever will try and trap people into saying what they say.
Let me give you another example of a News of the World
story concerning an Asian gentleman called Varun Shingari who
was trapped in the same way on Saturday by somebody and Mr Bindman
knows about this because we almost took out an injunction. He
rings me up on Monday morning and he says, "I was trapped.
This person said this and that and put this to me and put that
to me." I am not saying he was trapped. I do not know why
he said these things. I think it is very regrettable that anyone
should say these things about anybody, especially someone that
he knows that he would see again. I do not think he knows the
concept of "on the record", "off the record"
or the fact that his stuff will be printed out and shown to everybody.
I am very sad that he did say that because it is not true.
223. Yes, but he made detailed allegations about
cheques and cash sums against you and accused you of criminal
(Mr Vaz) Absolutely.
224. Surely there must have been something that
was winding him up. Why would somebody be so malevolent towards
you from within your own community?
(Mr Vaz) Or from any community. I do not know. People
can be malevolent. If there is somebody in public life and they
want to say things and they think nobody else is going to hear
about them, they might say things about them.
225. So what have you done about it? Once you
knew that he had said these things about you what did you do?
(Mr Vaz) I was very hurt.
226. Did you protest?
(Mr Vaz) To whom?
227. To him.
(Mr Vaz) No. Why should I protest to him? He rang
me up and said, "This is not true" and I accepted it.
At that stage I had not seen the transcripts and I could not believepeople
have rung me up and said they have spoken to Mrs Filkin at length
about things, and I know Mrs Filkin never talks to the press so
I do not believe the press. People like Chris Hastings and Rajeev
Syal in particular, who has been saying this about me for seven
years,all I have ever done is try to help people like that.
I do not know why they would say these things.
228. I am finding it difficult to understand
why it was that you did not protest. If somebody made an accusation
against me, notwithstanding the question of libel, I would want
to know why they had done it, what was angering them and were
they going to withdraw the allegations. Did you ask him to withdraw
(Mr Vaz) Mr Campbell-Savours, there are two problems
there. One is that we are not allowed to contact witnesses. Secondly,
if somebody rings you up and says
229. No; this was prior to any inquiry, was
(Mr Vaz) No.
230. What was the date of this?
(Mr Vaz) It was in The Sunday Telegraph. It
was the same accusation that Rajeev Syal had put seven years ago.
231. What was the date of this material? Do
you remember roughly?
(Mr Vaz) March or something like that.
232. Was it after we received the complaints?
(Mr Vaz) Yes, but I did not get to see the transcript
until much later.
233. Oh, I see.
(Mr Vaz) Mrs Filkin handed me the transcript later.
The investigative way in which Mrs Filkin does her investigations
is a very interesting way, in which she has the evidence first.
She then puts it to you and sees whether you are a liar or not.
Then when you say something that is wrong she can send you the
thing and say, "Look, this is the truth". It is actually
a very good way.
234. Do you know roughly what was the date in
The Sunday Times of this?
(Mrs Filkin) It was 19 March, the same day that Mr
Vaz said he had a conversation with Mr Kapasi.
(Mr Vaz) I did not know the date. It was March some
235. That was before the
(Mrs Filkin) No. It was published prior to that. On
19 March is the item that refers to Mr Kapasi.
(Mr Vaz) I did not get to see the transcripts until
much later. What do you do when somebody you know says these things
236. But the allegations would have been in
the paper, would they not?
(Mr Vaz) No, not all the bits. The allegation about
Mr Kapasi, a Leicester businessman or whatever, says that he gave
£500 for a temple in Leicester. The cuttings are in the file.
It does not say that he says he has a hotel in Goa or that he
gave me more cheques or this stuff about a brown and white envelope.
I cannot believe that Kapasi could have said such a thing. I do
not think it is Kapasi.
237. You do not think it is Kapasi then?
(Mr Vaz) It is just so unbelievable, because I do
not have that relationship with him.
238. You will understand that he has made these
allegations and he has withdrawn them of course. I just wondered
a little as to the background as to how it was possible for him
to make statements of that nature.
(Mr Vaz) I have no idea, but frankly my faith in human
nature was shaken when I saw those transcripts and has been shaken
ever since. I think anyone will say anything about anybody these
239. Can I ask you about Mark?
(Mr Vaz) Which one?