Transcript of conversation between Mr
Jaffer Kapasi and Mr Rajeev Syal
J: We got a phone call last night from someone
else at Leicester . . . I can tell you who it was, it was Councillor
Kamaal who tells us that he's got a letter from the commissioner
regarding, from the Parliamentary Commissioner, what we're doing
is basically finding out if anyone else has, have you? . . .
J: Yes, I have heard yesterday . . .
R: You did, what was she saying . . .
J: Well, she was asking me about, . . .
R: Pardon, she is asking you about?
J: You know my payment (for the month inaudible)
and also if I knew anyone else, who would have given money to
J: There were five, or four or five questions
. . .
R: Right, how are you going to do it, are
you going to tell the truth or . . .
J: I can't discuss it, unfortunately I have
to talk with some of my colleagues, in the (inaudible)
community, (inaudible) see the problem we have is the community
will suffer, you know, you see, . . . I need to talk to my colleagues
before I make a final decision.
R: Right, obviously what we said was completely
off the record and um, we won't be identifying you at all, you
know by name, and what we wanted to do in this weeks paper is,
basically outline the fact that letter had gone out re very specific
allegations and um, yours the allegations and that, that you made
to me about payments around Hamilton was just one of the allegations,
that there have been many others which, I know well we've found
out because basically we have been calling people all night and
we have found out that there is a whole raft of allegations around
the country, mainly centred in London to be honest. But what we
wanted to do was bring them altogether this weekend just basically
go through what the Parliamentary Commissioner has, is investigating.
We are going to mention Hamilton as part of that, obviously we
won't be mentioning you by name, but we will be mentioning the
fact that she has been investigating claims that um, a bribe was
handed, a bribe sorry, that money was handed over to Mr Vaz for
help with planning permission. Would that be OK?
J: Well yes, I mean if you want to do that.
R: Yes, as we discussed I mean, the other
day, the last time I had a lot of comeback, ah from the community
so . . . I had a lot of comeback from them . . .
J. When . . .
R: What do you mean, when was that.
J: You know when we, um, when we signed
a petition against (inaudible) local politicians, what
he did was complain to a senior . . .
R: Sorry, what do you mean, a central base,
from which organisation?
J: You know for the mosque . . . see what
he did was complain, also to a few of my friends in London as
well, he knows that I have got contacts ah, . . . again, you know.
R: Yeah, I mean I would only expect him
to do that, I mean it's much bigger than that isn't it, I mean
the fact that the Parliamentary Commissioner . . . See first of
all she has the power to subpoena people you know that, and on
top of that, which so obviously you would be asked to give sworn
evidence as in a court of law, but on top of that it is not as
though you have done anything wrong, or anyone, do you know. And
I think that, you know from the letter that we . . . basically
we have had the wording of a couple of the letters given to us,
from what it appears, to us it seems she has sent out letters
to at least 20 people asking them to come forward and what she
is letting them know is that they have not done anything wrong.
J: No, no, no.
R: I take it you will have to comply in
that sense, I mean though you can't really lie to the commissioner,
J: No, no, no.
R: You are going to have to tell her the
J: Yes, yes, yes.
R: Is that true? Or is . . . I am asking,
off the record, you will not be identified, but just so I know
whether or not you will comply with um, I really have to push
you on that because we really cannot write a, we can't really
mention what's happening in Leicester unless, unless, people will
comply. We do know that at least two people are helping with her
enquiries in Leicester. But would you be doing that as well, I
take you are going to have to. You can't sir,
J: I know, I'm going to have . . . to talk
my colleagues yet, I will probably be doing that and then I will
be making my mind up what . . .
R: Right, right.
R: So at the moment you are, you are, obviously
you are not, you know. We both know that the actual payment were
placed, but the point is, is whether or not you can, whether or
not you have the permission to talk to the commissioner and give
them, because you've got to ask the people from the community.
J: That's right, yes.
R: I understand, OK well look, let me call
you back and I will read exactly what we are going to put in the
paper, so you are happy and it will not identify you in any way,
R: So that way your name will be kept out
of it, and Keith won't be able to bother you, OK?
R: So shall I call you at home or on a mobile?
J: Yes you can call, m, actually I am coming
to London, I will be in London.
R: Oh you will, that's good, but let me
call you anyway this morning.
R: What's your number . . .
J: I will be in the office after 10.
J: I will be in the office after 10.
R: After 10 o'clock, OK, and so I will call
you then on your office number. Do you want to give it to me again.
J: Yeah, * * *
R: OK, talk to you later Jaffer.
Second conversationbetween same people.
R: Its Rajeev.
J: I heard.
R: Yes as I saying, basically all we wanted
to say was something like, this . . . just to say that, application
for religious building, ah, what we will be doing is a story about
the fact that Mr Vaz is at the centre of new cash payments allegations
following an extension of Elizabeth Filkins enquiry into allegations
that he accepted money, payments of £1,000 and lower down
the story what we wanted to say is this, that one of the allegations
dates back to 1991, concerns a £500 payment, um given to
him by a business man who the TST will not identify, no such payment
has been entered in the Register of the Members Interest. Would
that be okay, is that okay?
It . . . (inaudible) . . . me that eventually
they can get to who are they are talking about.
R: Who will be able to?
J: (inaudible) . . . they asking
J: When he will start questioning.
R: Well, he won't be able to because he
will deny that a payment was made, and so its, you know, it's
not as if he's going to be able to, I mean he is going to deny
that a payment was made, not because, I believe you obviously,
and because we have spoken to so many other people who told us
exactly the same story.
R: But the only way we can write stories
about these things is if people allow us that much leeway just
to print the allegations, we are not looking to but just say that
the allegation dates back to 1991, concerns a £500 payment
given to Mr Vaz by a business who the state has decided not to
identify. Would that be OK? Is that OK?
J: Um as I said I am just thinking ahead,
he can challenge your newspaper, and . . . inaudible.
R: But you have been, as you said, you have
been contacted by Elizabeth Filkin, and therefore you are, you
have done nothing wrong, all that's happened is that you've been
contacted by Ms Filkin after years of rumours about this, I mean
I heard a rumour about this, I heard this story in 1994 when I
was there. I mean this is not as if you are being singled out,
we have spoken to so many people with the allegation . . . so
you will be one of many, but we need the many, and to at least
talk to Ms Filkin.
J: Ah you know I am very sure that hardly
any people will talk.
R: Why do you think that?
J: Because you know, they don't want to
R: Right, I would disagree with you, I think
that when people . . . because letters have gone out to so many
people, I think that many people are going to talk. She's already
received Ms Filkin, from what I understand from the people we
have spoken to, we have already spoken to three people who have
complained to him about the fact that Mr Vaz has accepted payments
from various businessmen.
J: From what I gather, everyone has made
payments to the Labour Party.
J: People have made payments to the labour
party itself, if not to MPs.
R: That's true, and that's, no, I think
people have made payments believing it was to the Labour party.
J: Oh I see.
R: And not believing that it was but the
cheques, one of the cheques that we know about was actually made
out to Keith Vaz.
J: Ah, I see.
R: Not to the Labour Party, and we will
be mentioning, you know, we won't be mentioning any name's, and
we will be mentioning about allegations as well, um so that is
what we are planning on writing, OK?
R: Obviously you won't lie to the Commissioner
when she contacts you, you will have to tell the truth won't you,
I suppose, she does have the . . .
J: I know, I know she does really . . .
I may have to be questioned as well, because
that's the way that goes, she knows that we did the last story.
And she is, I imagine that there is a chance that she will subpoena
not just Chris and myself, but also other people who have worked
on Leicester, other journalists, who've looked into this whole
issue. And there are a lot of us about. I mean (name ??) and various
other people who have worked in Leicester, we could all end up
. . .
J: In court.
R: Well not in court, but giving evidence
J: As I said, I am in a very difficult position,
we discussed when you were here as well.