Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Wafic Said - old friend of the Tories

Thanks to Mark Pack, Duncan Borrowman and Peter on Liberal Review for flagging up the Tory connection (via £100,000 donated by his wife) with Wafic Said.

Wafic Said. I've heard that name before, haven't I?

Indeed, here is a little episode from the life of one Jonathan Aitken, who was Tory Minister of Defence Procurement at the time of most of these events:

September 1993 Aitken is spotted at the Paris Ritz hotel. Said Mohammed Ayas and Wafic Said, two former business associates, were also seen there at the same time. His bill is paid by Prince Mohammed bin Fahd of Saudi Arabia.

October 1993 The Guardian is tipped off by Mohamed Al-Fayed about Jonathan Aitken's recent stay at the Paris Ritz. When contacted by the paper, Aitken maintains his wife settled the bill.

April 1995 The Guardian reveals that Aitken's Paris Ritz hotel bill was paid by the Saudis.

June 1997 Aitken's libel case against the Guardian and Granada collapses when evidence shows that he, his family and friends had lied to the court. Airline tickets show that his family could not have been in Paris during Aitken's stay in September 1993, and Aitken's claim that his wife paid the bill is false. He and his wife announce their separation soon afterwards, and he is stripped of his membership of the Privy Council.

Here's another Tory connection for Wafic Said, from the Guardian of 15th December:

It was not only princes and their officials who were said to have benefited but also, allegedly, Mrs Thatcher's son, Mark, through his friendship with one of the intermediaries, the Syrian/Saudi billionaire Wafic Said.

...and shiny new David Cameron took £100,000 on behalf of the Conservative party from this man's wife and then, it allegedly seems, created no hullabaloo or even the merest squeak when the BAe-Al-Yamamah case was dropped.

Fascinating. Fas-cin-at-ing.

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