Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Non-answer of the week

You may remember I asked the Conservative Party why it felt justified in retaining the £400,000+ donated by Polly Peck companies, given the chairman was an international fugitive who has just been jailed for stealing £29m and making these donations without permission of the shareholders and/or Directors - also a criminal offence.

Their reply was a brush-off. So I tried again.

This is today's reply:

Dear Dr Vole, On behalf of the Party Chairman, The Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP, I am writing to thank you for your further email. As I have previously stated the Conservative Party has no record of having received donations from Asil Nadir. Donations were received from Polly Peck companies more than 22 years ago; these were accepted in good faith from what was then considered to be a leading British company. Thank you again for writing. Yours Sincerely, Oliver

It's a non-answer, in that it repeats their position ('it's mine, my precious') without addressing my major point: that the auditors say the cash was stolen, and the Proceeds of Crime Act also make possession of this cash a potential crime.

My final reply before I take the whole affair to the police:

Dear Oliver,
Polly Peck collapsed 22 years ago when the Chairman fled the country while on bail. Did this not indicate that the donations from his companies were not entirely legitimate? Touche Ross wrote to you several years ago to inform you that the money was illegitimately donated: does this not require you to return the money? Or the suffering of the employees and shareholders who lost everything when the companies collapsed? Finally, I would point out that the Proceedings of Crime Act explicitly rules out a defence of 'good faith': possession of stolen money and failure to report potentially illegitimate transactions are criminal offences. I fear that it's time I put this matter in the hands of the police. 


Grumpy Bob said...

I understand Michael Mates is standing as a Police & Crime Commissioner, a role from which even the most minor criminal record will disqualify one.

Historian on the Edge said...

I know a couple of journalists for broadsheets that I could point at your blog posts if you thought it might help.

The Plashing Vole said...

That would be excellent - the Lib Dems had a criminal donor and were hounded for it (rightfully) especially by the Tories. So I don't see why they should get away with this one.