By Stephen Wright and Richard Pendlebury
19th September 2008
A senior Labour MP is facing demands for a sleaze inquiry
after intervening in a court case on behalf of a party
Keith Vaz, chairman of the influential home affairs
select committee, urged the High Court to delay proceedings
involving a friend from whom he and his family had received
We can reveal that the friend - controversial lawyer
Shahrokh Mireskandari - was on the brink of losing a
long-running legal costs battle with an airline when
Mr Vaz intervened.
The stakes were high as the lawyer is desperately challenging
a court order to pay £400,000 in costs to the liquidator
of the airline.
He is now facing a bankruptcy action after losing his
At a critical point in the case, 51-year-old Mr Vaz
wrote to the High Court asking the presiding judge to
adjourn proceedings pending the outcome of complaints
by Mireskandari about how the case had been previously
handled, involving hotly contested allegations of racism
Legal sources said the judge was furious at what he
perceived to be 'political interference'.
As head of the home affairs committee, the MP for Leicester
East has a key role in law-and-order issues.
Iranian-born Mireskandari, 47, is the lawyer at the
centre of the Scotland Yard race row involving Britain's
top Asian policeman, Assistant Commissioner Tarique
Ghaffur, who has launched a £1.2million racial discrimination
claim against Met chief Sir Ian Blair.
Last week, we revealed that Mireskandari is a convicted
fraudster with suspect legal qualifications. He is a
close friend of Met Commander Ali Dizaei, president
of the National Black Police Association, who was suspended
on Thursday after the Mail revealed disturbing links
between the pair.
Lib Dem deputy leader Vince Cable, who has campaigned
on behalf of a constituent ripped off by Mireskandari,
said: 'I am absolutely flabbergasted.
'I have had a long letter from Keith Vaz in which he
tries to tell me that he does not have a close relationship
with Mireskandari and that his dealings with him were
solely motivated by concerns for ethnic-minority lawyers.
'This does not tally with the information becoming
available, of him going to extraordinary lengths of
approaching a judge in an ongoing court case.
'I am not aware of any other precedent in modern times
of politicians seeking to influence a member of the
judiciary in this way. It raises serious questions about
The rest of the article is here - Daily
See also Labour
MP under pressure over letter from a week ago in