Perjury transcript.



Wednesday 6/12/00

[16:08] PG: On evening of 15th, there was a Law Society Dinner. Barbara Cahalane approached you to say that Frances Gibb had been calling and asked for a quote from you?

[16:09] KB: Yes, this was at 10.35 or a quarter to 11.

[16:09] PG: Barbara Cahalane advised you not to speak to Frances Gibb, didn't she?

[16:09] KB: Yes

[16:09] PG: Mr McGill and Mr Wilson sought assurances that you and Robert Sayer wouldn't speak to the press, didn't they?

[16:09] KB: Yes

[16:09] PG: You said this in your evidence in chief?

[16:09] KB: Yes

[16:09] PG: They asked for the same assurance from you, didn't they?

[16:09] KB: Yes

[16:09] PG: Which you gave to them?

[16:09] KB: Yes

[16:09] PG: You kept to that assurance?

[16:09] KB: Yes

[16:10] PG: You did not speak to Frances Gibb?

[16:10] KB: No

[16:10] PG: You did not speak to Frances Gibb?

[16:10] KB: I don't believe so

[16:10] PG: At what time did you leave the dinner?

[16:10] KB: 11 to 11.30

[16:10] PG: You returned home?

[16:10] KB: Yes

[16:10] PG: How did you travel?

[16:10] KB: In a Law Society car

[16:10] PG: That was being driven for you?

[16:10] KB: Yes

[16:10] PG: You didn't speak to Frances Gibb, and nor did anyone on your behalf?

[16:10] KB: As far as I'm aware, yes

[16:10] PG: Do you remember calling home that evening?

[16:11] KB: I don't remember, no

[16:11] PG: You said you had a lot of anger that you were not allowed to talk to press following your assurance?

[16:11] KB: Yes

[16:11] PG: An article appeared next day in The Times, which has biographical material about you in it?

[16:11] KB: Yes

[16:11] PG: You said in relation to that article that you weren't commenting to the press, but others were?

[16:11] KB: Yes. And the statement from Frances Gibb identifies that I wasn't the source of the story.

[16:11] PG: Do you recall at the second Directions Hearing that an issue arose about your communications with the media?

[16:12] KB: Yes

[16:11] PG: And there was disclosure of telephone records?

[16:12] KB: Yes

[16:12] PG: The telephone records didn't disclose any communications with the media?

[16:12] KB: I checked the records of my home phone bill

[16:12] PG: Did you have mobile phone in December 1999?

[16:12] PG: Can you remember the number of that mobile phone?

[16:12] KB: Not offhand

[16:12] PG: Was it: 0467276386?

[16:13] KB: It may have been.

[16:13] PG: And was provided by the Law Society?

[16:13] KB: Yes

[16:13] PG: Paid for by the Law Society?

[16:13] KB: Yes.

[16:13] PG: Did you have it with you on the evening of 15th?

[16:13] KB: No.

[16:13] PG: You didn't use it to call Frances Gibb?

[16:13] KB: No

[16:13] PG: You did not use it for that purpose?

[16:13] KB: No

[16:13] PG: Sir, the mobile phone records have been disclosed but are not in the bundle. I will hand them to the Tribunal.

[16:14] Chair: Thank you

[16:14] PG: This is for the mobile number I've read out to you?

[16:14] KB: Yes

[16:14] PG: It shows itemised calls for 15/12?

[16:14] KB: Yes

[16:14] PG: The day of the dinner?

[16:14] KB: Yes

[16:14] PG: We can see a number of calls up to 19.58.

[16:14] KB: Yes

[16:14] PG: Then there's a break till 23.01

[16:14] KB: Yes

[16:14] Chair: In the third and fourth line.

[16:14] PG: The first call is recall delivery?

[16:14] KB: Yes

[16:14] PG: The next line shows a call to 886 3311?

[16:15] KB: That's my mother's number

[16:15] PG: You were then on the telephone for 3 ½ minutes?

[16:15] KB: I didn't have the phone that day

[16:15] PG: Then there is another call to the same number for about 50 seconds. At 23.40, there's a call for 40 seconds, a call to …

[16:15] KB: That's my home number.

[16:15] PG: There is a call lasting 1'43 and then a second call almost immediately afterwards to the same number for 7'39.

[16:16] KB: Yes

[16:16] PG: That would take us to 23:50:18. The second call to your home is finished. Then there is a call to 842473. That's Frances Gibb's home number, isn't it

[16:16] KB: I don't know.

[16:17] PG: It has been checked, and can be verified if necessary

[16:17] PG: Then there is a call lasting 9'53, which takes us to about midnight, and then another call lasting 14'. In total, there's a call lasting 23 minutes to Frances Gibb on the night of 15 December. Do you still deny you made those calls?

[16:17] KB: Yes

[16:17] PG: Did you lose your mobile phone?

[16:17] KB: No

[16:18] PG: Those calls were made at time you were travelling home in your car?

[16:18] KB: They might have been

[16:18] PG: How long does it take to drive from the dinner to Barnet?

[16:18] KB: About an hour

[16:18] PG: So the calls would cover that time in the car?

[16:18] KB: Yes

[16:18] PG: Can you explain how these calls could have been made?

[16:18] KB: No

[16:18] PG: You made those calls, didn't you, Ms Bahl?

[16:18] KB: No

[16:18] PG: You didn't lose phone?

[16:18] KB: No

[16:18] PG: You can provide no explanation of how those calls were made?

[16:19] KB: That evening, I had my nephew's phone. My phone must have been at home or with my nephew. The reason I said that is because I had been advised by Lewis Silkin to stop using my mobile phone.

[16:19] PG: Where was your nephew on this occasion?

[16:19] KB: I don't know.

[16:19] PG: Was this the nephew who was here last week handing out your statement to the Press?

[16:20] KB: This was a different nephew. Neil Nagon

[16:20] Chair: What age is he?

[16:20] KB: 18 or 19.

[16:20] PG: Do you know why he called Frances Gibb for 23 minutes that evening?

[16:20] KB: He is an IT buff and a telephone buff. It may have been that she left a message and he phoned her back, I don't know.

[16:20] PG: Have you spoken to him about this?

[16:21] KB: This is the first time I've seen it today.

[16:21] PG: When did you hand him your mobile?

[16:21] KB: Tuesday or Monday 13th or 14th. Probably 14th. That's when Lewis Silkin said: "Don't use your phone".

[16:21] KB: Where did you hand it to him?

[16:21] KB: At our house

[16:21] PG: What time of day?

[16:21] KB: In the late evening, when I got back from Lewis Silkin. If it was the 14th, it would have been the evening when I returned from my office at the Law Society. It was either the evening of 13th or 14th.

[16:22] Chair: It was in the evening whichever day it was?

[16:22] KB: Yes

[16:22] PG: When did you get the phone back?

[16:22] KB: At the weekend or sometime later. Then I think. What we then did was I started to use my sister's phone

[16:22] Chair: Give me the date when you think you got it back.

[16:22] KB: It might have been that weekend or it might have been early the next week. I'm not sure.

[16:22] Chair: Do you say that even having got it back, you didn't use it but used your sister's?

[16:23] KB: If I had messages she would relay them to me.

[16:24] PG: Are you saying that from the moment you handed over the phone you didn't use it for Law Society business?

[16:24] KB: I may have used it for some period in between handing it over. SL told me not to use the same phone continuously. They suggested that I use somebody else's phone and offered to arrange another phone for me.

[16:24] PG: Why?

[16:24] KB: They thought my phones would be bugged.

[16:25] PG: So you handed it over to your nephew on 13/14?

[16:25] KB: Yes.

[16:25] PG: And you didn't use it at all until you got it back following weekend?

[16:25] KB: I think so, yes.

[16:25] PG: When you got it back you used your sister's phone.

[16:25] KB: I may have used it for a while and then used hers. I don't recollect exactly.



Thursday 7/12/00

[Proceedings commence 10.05]

[10:05] Chair: Where were we?

[10:05] KB: Is it possible for me to make a statement before we continue? It's in connection with this mobile phone and the records.

[10:05] Chair: It's not very usual. Have you any objection, Mr Goulding?

[10:05] PG: I have no objection.

[10:06] KB: I took this home last night and I believe that the mobile was in my possession on the evening of 16th.

[10:06] Chair: The evening of the 16th?

[10:06] KB: And on the 17th and what is shown on this sheet

[10:06] Chair: Do you mean the 15th as well

[10:06] KB: Yes I do, yes

[10:06] RA: I can't remember what page…

[10:06] Chair: It was given to us yesterday

[10:07] RA: I think somebody ought to give me a copy of it

[10:07] Chair: I think we had better stop for a minute

[PG gives RA a copy]

[10:07] Chair: As I understand it, the effect of the evidence last night was this: that A was at a Law Society dinner. She left between 11 and 11.30. She was asked about the telephone calls made between 23:01 and asked about the calls that followed. [Describes document.] She believes that the telephone number was her mobile phone provided by the Law Society. She confirmed that the first number we see is her mother's phone number. The next number is her home phone number and it was put to her that the next number was the telephone number of Frances Gibb of The Times.

[10:09] RA: I've had the gist of that relayed to me

[10:09] Chair: It's right that you should see it. PG drew attention to the fact that within seconds of the phone call to her mother, she had had a 9-minute phone call with Frances Gibb and almost immediately after a 14-minute phone call with Frances Gibb

[10:09] RA: You said within seconds?

[10:09] Chair: If you work out the duration of the call and add it to the start time, I think it's less than a minute

[10:10] RA: I'm not sure I understand that point. The phone call is at 23:50

[10:10] Chair: No, it's a phone call at 23:42

[10:10] PG: Twenty seconds later

[10:10] Chair: And she was asked whether she had made the calls. She said she had not and that the phone was in the possession of her nephew.

[10:10] KB: Sir, this was presented to me yesterday for the first time after the disclosure that was made on the directions hearing on 6/10. I believe my solicitors were provided with copies for January and February but were informed that the December records were not available. I did not have a recollection of this conversation when I was answering the question yesterday. My approach to Frances Gibb was based on a reply… My response in relation to Frances Gibb and the reason she was approached to give evidence was because of a response given to the questionnaires where an allegation had been made that I had been the source of the information which led to the article being printed on 16/12 and, Sir, that is in File 2, pages 56 and 57. The paragraph at the end. That led me to approach her to ask her to confirm that I wasn't her source. Whether the information for the article printed on 16/12 had come from me.

[10:14] Chair: Which is the article we're speaking about please?

[10:14] KB: We're talking about…

[10:14] Chair: I think you mentioned the article last night, Mr Goulding

[10:14] PG: Volume 8, p.164

[10:15] Chair: Thank you. Yes, I recall this appears to be from The Times of 16th December

[10:15] KB: That's right, the following day.

[10:15] Chair: Surely telephone calls at that time of night would be too late for The Times of 16th December.

[10:15] PG: It may well depend on what edition, because a newspaper goes through several editions.

[10:16] Chair: I'm not au fait with newspapers. I don't know what time copy has to go in

[10:16] RA: Could I ask this question? Was it being put by PG that the source of the information at 8/164 was the phone call you have just identified to Frances Gibb on 15th and 16th?

[10:16] Chair: No. It was put that the Applicant had phoned Frances Gibb that night and denied it

[10:16] PG: Yes. I'd be grateful if we could hear the full statement from Ms Bahl before Mr Allen…

[10:17] Chair: Is there anything more?

[10:17] KB: Having taken it home last night, it's something I should bring to the attention of the Tribunal because there was a period of time when I did exchange my phone with my nephew and my sister and it was clearly not in that period of time and I must have been confused when I said that. What I can do is I can assure the Tribunal that I did not speak about this matter to Frances Gibb. I got back and I tried to recollect the conversation and I can assure the Tribunal I did not do so.

[10:18] Chair: What do you mean by "this matter"?

[10:18] KB: The complaints against me or the discussion in Council that afternoon.

[10:18] Chair: Including the request to stand down?

[10:18] KB: No. I didn't discuss this matter with her. That's all I wanted to say, Sir

[10:19] Chair: Thank you. Mr Goulding?

[10:19] RA: Do we have a home for this, Sir?

[10:19] Chair: Could we have a home, Mr Goulding?

[10:19] PG: I suggest Core Bundle 2. I hope you have at the back a divider 124.

[10:19] Chair: I've got something behind it.

[10:19] PG: Could you put what you have behind 24 behind 23.

[10:19] Chair: I've got Religious Festival information. That should be in 23?

[10:20] PG: Yes

[10:20] Chair: And this should be in 24?

[10:20] PG: Yes.

[10:20] RA: Has that been done in the witness bundle?

[10:20] KB: No

[10:20] RA: If I could ask Herbert Smith to do that in the witness bundle, because I'm sure we'll want to look at that later on.

[10:21] Chair: I'll just describe them as phone records for 15/12/99, because that's the relevant date. Yes

[10:21] PG: Let me just see if I've got this clear. You now accept, contrary to what you said yesterday, that you had your mobile with you on Wednesday 15th?

[10:21] KB: I do, yes.

[10:21] PG: You accept that after the Law Society dinner you phoned your mother?

[10:22] KB: Yes

[10:22] PG: You now remember that call, do you?

[10:22] KB: I remember a call, yes

[10:22] PG: After speaking to your mother you telephoned home?

[10:22] KB: Yes

[10:22] PG: You now remember that call, do you

[10:22] KB: Yes

[10:22] PG: Who did you speak to?

[10:22] KB: My husband

[10:22] PG: Did you have any conversation with him about Frances Gibb?

[10:22] KB: I think I didn't. No

[10:22] PG: You think you didn't?

[10:22] KB: No. No, I didn't

[10:22] PG: And as soon as you came off the telephone from you husband you phoned Frances Gibb?

[10:23] KB: Yes

[10:23] PG: You spoke to her first for over 7 ½ minutes?

[10:23] KB: Yes

[10:23] PG: Then you got cut off?

[10:23] KB: Yes

[10:23] PG: Then you spoke to her for another 14 minutes. That's a total of 23 minutes and 28 seconds?

[10:23] KB: Yes

[10:23] PG: You now remember that call, do you?

[10:23] KB: I do, yes

[10:23] PG: And you realised last night when you examined the records that the story you gave was unsustainable?

[10:23] KB: I realised when I went back and looked at it that I had got confused in answering, yes. That's why I wanted to set the record straight first thing this morning.

[10:24] PG: You realised that the story you concocted yesterday about handing your mobile phone to your nephew could not withstand the scrutiny of these records?

[10:24] KB: No…

[10:24] PG: That's correct, isn't it, Ms Bahl?

[10:24] KB: I don't know whether it can withstand scrutiny, or not

[10:24] PG: Let's look at them, shall we? There's a call at 19:58?

[10:25] KB: Yes

[10:25] PG: Just before you went into the Law Society dinner?

[10:25] KB: Yes

[10:25] PG: That was a call lasting 11 ½ minutes?

[10:25] KB: Yes

[10:25] PG: To [gives number]

[10:25] KB: Yes

[10:25] PG: Whose number is that?

[10:25] KB: That's Lewis Silkin's number

[10:25] PG: Anyone in particular?

[10:25] KB: I don't recall

[10:25] PG: Do you recall the number of the Lewis Silkin switchboard?

[10:25] KB: No

[10:26] PG: [Puts number]

[10:26] KB: Yes

[10:26] PG: This is a direct line?

[10:26] KB: Yes

[10:26] PG: The direct line of Tom Coates, isn't it?

[10:26] KB: Yes

[10:26] PG: So just before going in to the Law Society you call Tom Coates and have a conversation with him?

[10:26] KB: Yes

[10:26] PG: Then go down to the following morning, 16th December, at 8:05

[10:26] KB: Yes

[10:26] PG: You see a call lasting 25'43?

[10:26] KB: Yes

[10:27] PG: 2278035?

[10:27] KB: Yes

[10:27] PG: Another Lewis Silkin direct line?

[10:27] KB: Yes

[10:27] PG: Who was that?

[10:27] KB: I can't recall that number

[10:27] PG: That was James Davies, wasn't it?

[10:27] KB: Yes

[10:27] PG: We see from an examination of these records that you make a phone call to Lewis Silkin before dinner, you call your mother, you call Frances Gibb, then the following morning you rang James Davies?

[10:28] KB: Yes

[10:28] PG: It is clear from those records that you must have had your mobile phone with you?

[10:28] KB: Yes

[10:28] PG: Going through this list, we find that these calls [lists] must have been made by you through the duration of 16th?

[10:28] KB: Yes

[10:28] PG: Yesterday, when I started to ask you about these calls, you appreciated that the phone records would show you calling Frances Gibb. In those circumstances you concocted a story, didn't you?

[10:29] KB: That's not true. What I said yesterday was my recollection of a sequence of events in a week that was confused and stressful. When I had the opportunity to look at the records when I got home, it was clear to me that I must have had the phone in my possession. When I had the opportunity to look at the records and think about them.

[10:29] PG: Yesterday you said [puts to her evidence of yesterday from 16:10 onwards]. Do you remember that?

[10:30] KB: Yes

[10:30] PG: That was because you saw it coming that the phone records would show that you had lied in your statement?

[10:30] KB: I genuinely did not remember making a call to Frances Gibb. The call is not referred to in her statement. When I thought about it, I had the opportunity to recollect

[10:31] PG: You said: "I had my nephew's phone". That was untrue, wasn't it?

[10:31] KB: Yes. But I handed it to him sometime later

[10:31] PG: [Puts further evidence about date of returning phone]. That was untrue, wasn't it?

[10:31] KB: It was a later date and a later time

[10:31] PG: [Puts evidence about assurance that she wouldn't speak to press]

[10:32] KB: Yes. They sought assurances that I wouldn't speak about this matter to the press

[10:32] PG: Let me read to you our note of the questioning yesterday. [Quotes long section of evidence]. You broke that assurance, didn't you?

[10:33] KB: I didn't break the assurance to talk about the matter. I didn't discuss the matter with Frances Gibb, no

[10:33] PG: You had a 23 minute conversation with Frances Gibb?

[10:33] KB: Yes

[10:33] PG: Are you seriously asking the Tribunal to believe that you didn't have a conversation about that matter?

[10:34] KB: Yes. We talked about other matters. The Race Relations Amendment Bill. She'd been wanting to talk to me for some time about other issues

[10:34] PG: Ms Bahl, do you realise you're on oath? During this evening, Barbara Cahalane told you that Frances Gibb wanted to speak to you. You suggest at midnight you talk to her for 23 minutes and didn't say anything about this matter?

[10:35] KB: Yes I am. She's a witness in these proceedings

[10:35] PG: She doesn't mention this conversation?

[10:35] KB: No

[10:35] PG: Why did you call her then?

[10:35] KB: Because she'd left a message on my mobile phone I think, which said: "Please call me urgently".

[10:35] PG: Would you take Vol.4 and go to p.69, please?

[10:35] Chair: Are we done with the page of records, Mr Goulding?

[10:36] PG: I may well come back to them. Paragraph 9. [Quotes] You refer to the dinner, here?

[10:36] KB: Yes

[10:36] PG: You say (8 lines down) "We were then approached by Barbara Cahalane…" [quotes]. That clearly related to these events?

[10:37] KB: Yes

[10:37] PG: [Quotes] It became clear that the story about Council had been leaked to Frances Gibb?

[10:37] KB: Yes

[10:37] PG: [Quotes] Barbara Cahalane advised me strongly not to speak to Frances Gibb?

[10:37] KB: Yes

[10:37] PG: [Quotes] At no time did she indicate that she had a conflict of interest in doing so?

[10:37] KB: Yes

[10:37] PG: [Quotes] McGill and Wilson would have no further interest if I spoke to the newspapers?

[10:37] KB: Yes

[10:37] PG: [Quotes] And I did not speak to Frances Gibb. That's untrue, isn't it?

[10:38] KB: That's untrue.

[10:38] PG: When did you give your nephew your mobile phone?

[10:38] KB: I hesitate to answer. Sometime in December.

[10:38] Chair: Before or after these events?

[10:39] KB: I think it must have been after. There was some time I gave it to him and some time I gave it to my sister.

[10:39] Chair: Do you remember who you gave it to first?

[10:39] KB: I don't. But if I have a look at the records, I could tell.

[10:39] Chair: Is the nephew the son of the same sister to whom you gave the phone later?

[10:39] KB: No. A separate sister and a separate nephew. I don't have many other nephews.

[10:39] PG: It was after this occasion?

[10:40] KB: Yes

[10:40] PG: And how long did your nephew have the phone for?

[10:40] KB: For a week or two. But I don't want to say

[10:40] PG: I'm asking you to sit and remember

[10:40] KB: I'd prefer not to do that

[10:40] PG: I'd ask you to answer that question

[10:40] KB: No

[10:40] PG: This was just a year ago. You've given evidence that you gave your phone to your nephew. You'd remember if you had given your phone away?

[10:40] KB: I'm certain I gave it away, but I don't remember the specific time

[10:41] PG: Approximately how long did you give it away for?

[10:41] KB: I can't answer that and I'm reluctant to answer that because I'd like to look at the records and find an answer that's more accurate. I don't want to rely on my memory for this period. I don't want to mislead the tribunal.

[10:41] PG: Is it because you know that whatever you say, you know we'll look through the records and prove it?

[10:42] KB: Not at all. I am confident that I can look through the records and find the time. I just don't want to hazard a guess.

[10:42] PG: Before I leave this topic, I will show you three pages of these records. The two pages either side of this page and another page.

[10:42] RA: Could I ask when they were disclosed?

[10:42] PG: They were disclosed on 28th November, the second day of this hearing. They were handed to Mr Khan. The sequence, so that you know, is that on 20th October, Herbert Smith wrote to Christian Fisher confirming that the Law Society was unable to obtain mobile phone records for December 1999. They couldn't be found. On 21st October, Christian Fisher wrote asking for an explanation. On 16/11, Herbert Smith faxed Christian Fisher to suggest they couldn't trace them, and confirmed that copies would be requested from provider. In November, records were received from the provider and handed to Mr Khan. That was in line with the confirmation sought at the directions hearing.

[10:45] Chair: Did the phone records handed to Mr Khan include the statement you showed to Ms Bahl yesterday?

[10:45] PG: Yes. We'll take this fairly briefly. Do you have a page with a 4 at the bottom?

[10:46] KB: Yes

[10:46] PG: You see a colour code is there explained?

[10:46] KB: Yes

[10:46] PG: The lines in pink show calls to Julie Pratt. She was your secretary?

[10:46] KB: Yes

[10:46] PG: You were in the habit of phoning her to obtain messages?

[10:46] KB: Yes

[10:46] PG: You were in the habit of phoning her while you were in taxis?

[10:46] KB: Yes

[10:46] PG: These numbers are Radio Taxis?

[10:46] KB: Yes. The Law Society's company

[10:46] PG: Numbers marked in orange are your home and family?

[10:46] KB: Yes

[10:46] PG: Yellow are the Law Society calls?

[10:47] KB: Yes

[10:47] PG: Green calls are to Lewis Silkin?

[10:47] KB: Yes

[10:47] PG: On p.4, we see calls to Lewis Silkin on 16 December at about 8.43/8.44 in the evening?

[10:47] Chair: Attempted calls

[10:47] PG: Yes. [Puts further calls to Lewis Silkin] I presume these were to voice mail?

[10:47] RA: I do intervene. I have no objection to it being asked whether Lewis Silkin was being called. But the subject of the conversation is privileged.]

[10:48] Chair: If there was a conversation, that was privileged. We are suggesting there was none

[10:48] PG: p.5. There are three lines in green on 14 December?

[10:49] KB: Yes

[10:49] PG: While travelling in by taxi?

[10:49] KB: Yes

[10:49] PG: [Puts Lewis Silkin calls to KB]

[10:50] KB: [Agrees with all.]

[10:50] PG: It is pretty clear that your mobile was in pretty frequent use and in your possession between 13th and 17th?

[10:51] KB: Yes

[10:51] PG: Sir, perhaps those pages could be added behind Tab.24 at Core Bundle 2?

[10:51] Chair: Is this for any specific points, or just to show the pattern?

[10:51] PG: Just to show the pattern

[10:52] Chair: Thank you.

[10:52] PG: You said that for some period you gave your mobile telephone to your sister?

[10:52] KB: Yes

[10:52] PG: Is that your sister who is giving evidence?

[Transcript ends here.]

Kamlesh Bahl Affair