The Truth

Labour MP Keith Vaz faces sleaze inquiry over his outrageous bid to sway judge on behalf of crooked lawyer friend .........

added 20/9/08

By Stephen Wright and Richard Pendlebury
Daily Mail
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 donor.

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 lavish hospitality.

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 latest appeal.

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 and bias.

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 conduct.'

The rest of the article is here - Daily Mail

See also Labour MP under pressure over letter from a week ago in the Guardian.