Wednesday, April 28, 2010 7:27 AM
Nazim Gillani tells his side of Jaffer tale
Toronto businessman Nazim Gillani contradicted statements by former MP Rahim Jaffer in testimony Wednesday at a parliamentary committee.
Mr. Gillani, who is at the centre of the scandal surrounding Rahim Jaffer and his wife, former junior cabinet minister Helena Guergis, revealed that his business dealings with Mr. Jaffer were more extensive than previously thought.
Mr. Gillani told committee members he met Mr. Jaffer on seven occasions and even planned to travel to China with him earlier this month. He provided MPs with a formal contract between his company and the firm owned by Mr. Jaffer and business partner Patrick Glémaud. The contract, dated Sept. 21, 2009, was for help securing government funding for a renewable energy project.
Last week, Mr. Jaffer testified that he had a few exploratory meetings with Mr. Gillani but the two companies ended their relationship because of a lack of “synergies”.
In his testimony, Mr. Gillani also:
» Apologized for writing an e-mail last fall that said: “Mr. Jaffer has opened up the Prime Minister’s office to us.” Mr. Gillani said he was “over-enthusiastic” and that Mr. Jaffer made no such promise.
» Denied cavorting with busty hookers with Mr. Jaffer.
» Said he never saw Mr. Jaffer use, possess or speak of cocaine. Mr. Gillani said he doesn’t use cocaine and is not a drug dealer.
» Denied having incriminating cell phone photos of Mr. Jaffer and Ms. Guergis, as alleged by a private investigator who contacted the Conservatives.
» Said he did not set up offshore bank accounts for Mr. Jaffer or Ms. Guergis.
Nazim Gillani testifies before a special parliamentary committee on April 28, 2010. Mr. Gillani present his “side of the story”, as he describes it. This is Mr. Gillani’s opening statement.
Mr. Gillani rejects Rahim Jaffer’s earlier testimony to the committee that his dealings with Mr. Gillani were merely cursory. He describes a package of documents submitted to the committee which includes a contract signed between him, Mr. Jaffer, and Patrick Glemaud. He speaks of a meeting with Mr. Jaffer on September 21, after Mr. Jaffer’s notorious DUI arrest.
Mr. Gillani also rejects what he calls the “outrageous” claims made by Kevin Donovan in his various investigative reports in the Toronto Star, including allegations that he is a money launderer, that he set up offshore accounts, that he is a cocaine user, and that he associates with “busty” prostitutes. He is deeply critical of the media in general.
Mr. Gillani concludes by stating that several contracts have fallen through following Mr. Donovan’s reports, and that his relationship with a serious girlfriend has ended.