Transcript: Interview with Derrick Snowdy
Derrick Snowdy is the Toronto private eye in the middle of a political tempest that has dominated headlines for more than a week. The following is a transcript of CBC reporter Dave Seglins's interview with Snowdy:
Seglins: Mr. Gillani is one of the reasons we're all here.
Snowdy: It's the only reason you're here, isn't it?
Seglins: Tell me about Nazim Gillani. Who is he?
Snowdy: Nazim Gillani was brought to my attention by a client who happened to be a long-term friend of mine, came to me with a situation that he found himself in, and asked me if I would assist him in investigating certain discrepancies in the business practices that Mr. Gillani was selling. So that began a process of examining the business activities and the social activities surrounding Mr. Gillani.
Seglins: How'd you do that?
Snowdy: We started first by looking through some paperwork that Mr. Gillani had — proposals — Mr. Gillani had prepared, and checking into some business references Mr. Gillani had prepared. And as we went through the process, certain things developed, certain information developed that didn't add up with what we knew would be the proper course of conducting some of those activities.
Seglins: Such as?
Snowdy: Such as stock transfer forms, what's commonly known as a shell corporation, [that] Mr. Gillani alleged to have control of. We examined the history of that U.S. company, and it was a U.S. corporation that we looked at. It had an exceptionally seedy past involving some U.S. securities lawyers that were prohibited from acting in public market deals again. They were trying to convert stocks whose transfer agents were not accounting for the proper amount of shares outstanding ... a number of things that weren't adding up, that needed to be addressed.
Seglins: Tell me about what you know about how he conducts his business.
Snowdy: Mr. Gillani conducts a lot of his business out of a house, which he refers to as the "home office,"... various Toronto-area restaurants, a Toronto-area adult entertainment establishment, a few other select places that he chooses local to the home, and he likes to cycle his cars and his scenery as much as possible.
Seglins: Newspaper reports, media reports are about busty hookers, cocaine deals, all wrapped up around this milieu of people around Mr. Gillani. What do you know about that?
Snowdy: We discovered a number of individuals that were having social and business relationships with Mr. Gillani, including a swath of victims, what we've described as a carefully orchestrated criminal enterprise that had a multitude of levels, that defrauded a number of people of hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars.
Seglins: Including HD Retail Solutions Inc.?
Snowdy: Including HD Retail Solutions Incorporated.
Seglins: Cocaine and hookers — where does that come from?
Snowdy: Mr. Gillani's network of social persons, along with some of his less-than-above-board business compatriots, would do business in these adult-entertainment establishments. Mr. Gillani was a bit of a braggart about having equity position with certain escort services. He was constantly in the company of some of the predominant escorts of the service. He, for whatever reason, from what I understand, when he was arrested on those outstanding fraud charges, he was caught in the company of the escort that identified themselves as his girlfriend. There was often a play of offer of drugs and partying with Mr. Gillani as part of his social atmosphere.
Seglins: You ever see him do drugs?
Snowdy: I've seen him in possession of drugs.
Seglins: Why was that even important?
Snowdy: In terms of? I don't understand —
Seglins: Why would people care whether he's having dinner with Rahim Jaffer?
Snowdy: It was a matter of following what his business references were. Some of his business references turned out to be less than accurate. He would have known people who would confirmed that they knew him, but they would not provide a business reference for him [Gillani].
Seglins: Did you ever see Rahim Jaffer do drugs?
Seglins: Helena Guergis?
Seglins: So how did they get wrapped up in this whole thing?
Snowdy: One of the situations Mr. Gillani ... If you take all of Mr. Gillani's activities in context, he would come out with some fairly exuberant boasts. And we would do a little bit of background checking, and sometimes the ones that were the most bizarre — I think the word the media has is "legs" — had legs. He would turn up knowing the right people, or he would be seen socializing with the right people that he claimed to. He purported at one point in time to be financier or a banker for members of organized crime. We made some inquiries and discovered that he was known to members of organized crime.
Seglins: Money laundering?
Snowdy: Mr. Gillani frequently indicated he was a skilled money launderer. There were a number of things that came along the pipe in terms of shell corporations, offshore banking. He attempted to sell to numerous people offshore corporations. Those corporations he represented were being administered by a Toronto law firm. We checked the incorporation date of these corporations. When asked about them, he indicated those contacts had been established by Rahim and his wife [Guergis]. We thought that that was odd, but some quick checking indicated that indeed Rahim and his wife had actually visited Belize a few months prior, which was slightly adding up, as the phrase goes. He remembered things and went along and added into his credibility. And they were the strangest circumstances.
Seglins: I want to get to how this information came to the public light and your desire to bring it to somebody's attention. But in terms of the evidence you have, Rahim Jaffer and/or Helena Geurgis ... cocaine? Never saw it.
Snowdy: Never saw it.
Seglins: Mr. Jaffer boasting that he would open the doors to the Prime Minister's Office for Mr. Gillani and his associates...?
Snowdy: I've seen the correspondence. I've read the emails.
Seglins: From Gillani?
Snowdy: Correct. But not from Mr. Jaffer.
Seglins: And Belize... Mr. Gillani's claim? You've been quoted as saying he claimed that he was holding shell companies for Mr. Jaffer and Ms. Guergis. Any evidence that they actually knew about these companies?
Snowdy: There was ... discussion that was conducted, where he referenced back to Mr. Jaffer and offered to put me in touch with Mr. Jaffer to confirm his reservation of a certain corporate name. Among the list, I picked out a name that had been reserved for Mr. Jaffer and I said to Mr. Gillani, I said, "Well, I'd kind of like to have this one, do you think we could switch with one?" And he offered to put me in touch with Mr. Jaffer.
Seglins: So Mr. Jaffer had a company name that you knew about, reserved for him, in Belize?
Snowdy: You'd have to ask Mr. Jaffer that. This is all coming from Mr. Gillani. This entire situation revolves around Mr. Gillani and his criminal enterprise. There was no — I never met with Rahim Jaffer, and I never dealt with Ms. Guergis.
Seglins: OK. Before we get to how this information came to the public eye, you knew certain modus operandi of Mr. Gillani.
Seglins: Explain that.
Snowdy: One of my clients had a business associate that had been duped of some money from Mr. Gillani. He approached Mr. Gillani and demanded a reconciliation and threatened to litigate. At that point, Mr. Gillani produced cellular phone pictures of him in a bad light, taken at the adult entertainment establishment, with some of these ladies.
Seglins: A sex shot?
Seglins: Not his wife?
Snowdy: Correct. And he threatened to reveal to ... (Seglins: sorry?) He threatened to reveal to this gentleman's wife those photographs from his cellphone, if he filed the litigation or went to the authorities to reclaim the money.
Seglins: Can you tell me the time frame this would have happened?
Snowdy: Uh, I'm sorry —
Seglins: When did this incident happen?
Snowdy: My understanding, it was July. It was discussed afterwards, in August — oh, sorry. I stand corrected. I understand it took place in August.
Seglins: Of 2009?
Snowdy: Of 2009, correct.
Seglins: Just as this was all heating up.
Seglins: ... Former associates and investors of HD Retail Inc. are getting very angry and very keen to ... what?
Snowdy: To either get their financing that they had paid Mr. Gillani for — I think the number was $5 million. The emails indicated it was a $5-million financing — or to return the venture capital fees that they had paid Mr. Gillani.
Seglins: Which is in the neighbourhood of ... ?
Snowdy: It was several hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Seglins: So what did you piece together, that you became concerned about?
Snowdy: I was contacted by the Toronto Star, with respect to some information relating to Rahim Jaffer's — the night of Rahim Jaffer's impaired-driving arrest. And I held a conversation with Kevin Donovan about that situation. And Kevin took the ball and ran with it. And he's done a hell of a job from my point of view in terms of putting our information together. I didn't provide him with any documents — I was not in a position to provide him with any documents — and I only spoke with him after getting consent from my client to discuss certain matters related to Mr. Gillani, in terms of who was present at certain meetings, and to give him the direction to go in.
Seglins: But why is he calling you?
Snowdy: Well, I asked him that. He said he received some information from someone who knew and had been investigating the case, and was on top of it. So, I mean, Kevin had a mutual acquaintance — actually, several — and he felt comfortable to call me and ask.
Seglins: OK. So take me through it. What happened?
Snowdy: Kevin called probably, I guess, about a month ago, and I advised him that I'd have to speak with my client. He was very interested in finding out who my client was. I spoke to the client, I got a little bit of direction. I gave him information, and he went off on his investigation. And as I tried to assist him through my client with questions that he had during the course of it. And really, he pursued it. We actually had no idea if he was going to publish anything or when it was going to come out.
Seglins: So the story breaks. What happened before Rahim Jaffer gets arrested for drunk driving and cocaine possession? This is what the first story is. It's what happened after.
Snowdy: Are we talking about the 8th of April, when the story came out?
Snowdy: When the story came out, I got a phone call from a friend of mine that said, "Hey, I smell your fingerprints on this. What did you have to do with it?" And I said, "Nothing — I'll pick up a copy." I picked up a copy and started getting phone calls from clients to discuss it. At that point in time, media hyperbole had run amok, and it had somehow gone from Mr. Gillani to Mr. Jaffer and Ms. Guergis as being the issue. Things were running amok.
Seglins: There's talk among your clients about the issues around Jaffer and Guergis?
Seglins: So what do you do?
Snowdy: We discussed the responsibility of perhaps informing our employer of what the matter actually was, and there was a lot of speculation as to what evidence was out there, what information was out there. I was in downtown Oakville. I took out my Blackberry and I emailed my MP with information about briefing them on the matter.
Seglins: Your MP?
Snowdy:... who is Lisa Raitt, who I have always found to act with the utmost integrity.... I advised my riding executive that this was the situation I was involved in, and I had direction from my client to provide information to them, so it could be appropriately examined and discussed for appropriate action. As the day wore on and the House of Commons did their dance, we again had some further discussions, and the client suggested that perhaps it would be in the interest of fairness to offer up to the Liberal leadership the same information that the Conservative Party would receive in a briefing from me.
Snowdy: This isn't about Rahim Jaffer. This isn't about Helena Guergis. This is about a criminal investigation into the conduct of Nazim Gillani that, for whatever reason, has turned into a political snowball over one man's criminal empire.
Seglins: So, why share it with the Liberals?
Snowdy: Why share it with any of them, then? They've turned it into an issue that's off-track. It is, like I said, it's not about Rahim Jaffer, it's not about Helena Guergis. It's about Nazim Gillani. The man stands accused of a multimillion-dollar fraud currently. We're uncertain of the disposition of his firearms possession charges. You have a gentleman like that, who is socializing and seen in public with a minister of portfolio, a former MP and, you know, there are issues that they need to be worried about, for plain optics.
Seglins: You said that there was no evidence that you saw that they were involved in cocaine or they were involved in influence-peddling in any —
Snowdy: I wasn't offering up a briefing with respect to either Mr. Jaffer or Ms. Guergis. The simple matter was that there was no complaint against them. The complaint was against a gentleman named Nazim Gillani and his enterprises, and what he had alleged.
Seglins: You had a meeting with Mr. Gillani where you were posing as an investor —
Seglins: — asking about how he might be dealing with Mr Jaffer.
Seglins: Explain that to us.
Snowdy: On August 7th, I met with Mr. Gillani and a number of other proposed investors at a Toronto restaurant. And after some niceties, Mr. Gillani separated me from the crowd — we'd had some previous correspondence in terms of a level of sophistication which I could conduct business with him — and we stepped aside and we discussed his offshore accounts program, his shell company program, and some other parts of his organization. As one of the deals was put to me, Mr. Jaffer was in a position to take down a substantial portion of one of these public ventures. I had asked him, I said, "Well, if he's going to have that large of a block, how are you going to control him?" And Mr. Gillani, you know, looked at me and he said, "Not to worry, I partied with Mr. Jaffer and his wife." And his wiggled his cellphone at me. We knew his pattern of behaviour, using the cellphone. We had information that he had used his cellphone to photograph a number of business associates in the compromising positions at Club Paradise on Bloor Street. We knew that he had used cellphone photographs obtained at Club Paradise to extort or blackmail one of my clients' associates. And we knew he was socializing with Mr. Jaffer and Ms. Guergis. So —
Seglins: So he waves the cellphone and you think, what?
Snowdy: He was implying to me that he had used his cellphone to photograph them in compromising positions. That is what he had done in the past, when he inferred he had photographed some others. We had looked into it. We knew that he had done it in the past. We knew that he had done it recently.
Seglins: So, in all of this information, then, what is your concern about the potential vulnerabilities of Mr. Jaffer and Ms. Guergis?
Snowdy: I don't have any, in terms of vulnerabilities, and Mr. Gillani comes forward. And I mean, here you have — think this through. You have — he's dining later on with Mr. Jaffer and Ms. Guergis, which, incidentally, I can tell you, Mr. Gillani never referred to Ms. Guergis by name, always as "Rahim and his wife." Always did. And I guess she was minister of women's issues, affairs? We have Mr. Gillani, who's awaiting trial on some very serious charges, who has claimed to have an equity stake in this escort service, and he's dining with the minister of women's issues.... What are the optics on that? You tell me. It's not for me to decide. It's for her employer to decide.
Seglins: Do you ever think about taking it to her?
Seglins: Why not?
Snowdy: I have no direction from my client to do that. Private investigator: The part that everybody seems to miss on that is "private."
Seglins: One of the things you just said was that Mr. Gillani was claiming that Mr. Jaffer was going to have a large equity stake in one of his ventures.
Seglins: Did Mr. Jaffer have business interests with Mr. Gillani?
Snowdy: I think you probably have to run that through Kevin Donovan, to be honest with you. Kevin took the business issues and the Jaffer connection to whole new levels of investigation. I have no interest in Mr. Jaffer's business dealings, none at all. And neither do my clients. My clients have interest in Mr. Gillani.
Seglins: Help me boil it down. Just phrase it another way. What were the optics for Jaffer and particularly Ms. Guergis?
Snowdy: The optics are, they are dining with a person of obvious issues, like I said, before the courts, a person with a criminal past and involved in a criminal enterprise, on whatever level that may be, and that that social relationship may have provided an opportunity for him to create or to obtain information or evidence that could be used to manipulate business activities or political activities to his advantage.
Seglins: Walk me through. How'd you contact the Liberals?
Snowdy: I phoned a friend of mine who's fairly connected through the Liberal organization, and I asked him for the appropriate person on Mr. Ignatieff's staff to contact to provide information to.
Seglins: So what'd you do?
Snowdy: He provided me with a phone number to potential contacts.
Snowdy: One of them was Peter Donolo, and I believe the other was Patricia Sorbara. I phoned the office. I spoke with an assistant. I asked to be put through to either of them. She said they weren't available. I left my name, my phone, advised them as to my role, or my knowledge, to some degree, of the issue, and that I'd offer a briefing to them, to correct their assumption that this was in some way a criminal accusation being levelled at a member of the House.
Seglins: Did you ever seek payment for information?
Snowdy: Absolutely not.
Seglins: Did you ever receive any?
Snowdy: Absolutely not.
Seglins: From the Conservatives or the Liberals?
Snowdy: Neither. I will tell you that I did receive the offer of a bottle of water while I discussed issues with Arthur Hamilton.
Seglins: The Conservative lawyer?
Snowdy: That's correct. I think it was Evian.
Seglins: So in terms of actually communicating, what did you actually tell Arthur Hamilton?
Snowdy: I got a phone call from Arthur Hamilton at 11 o'clock. Actually, that's incorrect. I received a text message from a friend who said that Arthur Hamilton was trying to track me down. I spent a few minutes trying to determine who Arthur Hamilton was, and I phoned him back at 11 o'clock on Thursday night, spent about an hour on the phone with him, and he asked me to come in to the office the next day. I met with him at his office the next day, and we discussed information that my client consented to release to him, with respect to Mr. Gillani, Mr. Gillani's current legal situation, some of the details with respect to what we had discovered Mr. Gillani had boasted to be true, and that Mr. Gillani was indeed socializing with Ms. Guergis at least one occasion.
Seglins: What specifically? Can you give me a list?
Snowdy: The list? I'm sorry —
Seglins: The issues that you brought forward to Mr. Hamilton?
Snowdy: I discussed his [Gillani's] current situation before the courts, with defrauding Rona. We discussed his firearms arrest. We discussed the occasions on which Mr. Jaffer and Ms. Guergis were in dining company of Mr. Gillani. We discussed some of Mr. Gillani's extortion of my client's associate. We discussed a few other items, which I actually have direction not to discuss any further.
Seglins: Busty hookers and cocaine?
Snowdy: Uh, Mr. Kevin Donovan of the Toronto Star nailed that one to a T.
Seglins: Did you tell Arthur Hamilton about Mr. Gillani and any relation to cocaine and hookers?
Snowdy: I discussed with Arthur boasts that Mr. Gillani had made, and what we had witnessed on separate occasions.
Seglins: Did you tell him about him shaking the cellphone and —
Snowdy: I did.
Seglins: — the implication that there might be extortion going on?
Snowdy: There was never a suggestion the extortion was going on. Let's be very clear about that. The question that was laid out was, we know this was a pattern of behaviour. We know this was the MO. Whether or not he does have this is subject to interpretation. What happens if he tries to use this, and he does have it? In what context do you ask it? I mean, you add this into Mr. Jaffer's arrest record, and the situation that evolved from that, there are just too much optics, I think, for this not to be addressed. I was asked my opinion as to Mr. Jaffer's situation. I mean, in that situation, I think the answer's pretty clear, don't you? Take a drug test, call it a day. That would be the simple solution, now wouldn't it?
Seglins: Perhaps. The ethics commissioner is in contact with you. Tell me about that conversation.
Snowdy: I got a call ... it was about four o'clock — actually it was about two o'clock on Friday afternoon. A gentleman identified himself as Eppo from the Ethics Commissioner's office. I phoned him back at about 4 o'clock that afternoon. The conversation lasted about 8½ minutes. He asked me questions in a very specific fashion, to which my responses were "no," at which point in time —
Seglins: What was he asking?
Snowdy: He informed me that he'd received a letter from the prime minister's chief of staff alleging or stating that I was making allegations against a member of the House.
Seglins: Your reaction?
Snowdy: I asked him to read me the letter. He put me on hold for a minute, came back and read the letter to me. I assume it was verbatim — he indicated he was reading it verbatim to me. And it listed my name as making accusations against a member, for a variety of things. I said to him I had made no allegations against the member. He asked if I had spoken with the prime minister's chief of staff. I said no. Did I make any allegations against the member? I said no. He asked a few other questions, which the answer was no. And he then stated to me, "Well, it doesn't seem to me that we have a complaint here. Thank you very much." Hung up the phone. Never heard back from him.
Seglins: Mr. Gillani has hired a media relations consultant, a spokesperson, who denies many of these things — oh, he may have bragged, he may have overstated what Mr. Jaffer did or didn't say about opening the doors of the PMO to Mr. Gillani's business associates and investors. But cocaine, hookers — not true.
Snowdy: He [Gillani] was found, when he was originally arrested, with hookers in his house.... It's a matter of public record; it's in the police report. What do you expect him to say — perhaps he should just come out and plead guilty now? I imagine there's a fairly substantial police investigation going on back in Canada. What would you expect a person under investigation to say at this point?
Seglins: To be specific, he says, "Mr. Gillani, when I asked him about this, says he has no photos, and can't recall a situation where photos might have been taken, where Mr. Jaffer and/or Ms. Guergis would've been in the presence of cocaine or hookers.
Snowdy: Don't take my word for it. Don't even take my infromation on it. If you read through some of the excellent work that Mr. Donovan did, you'll find that a number of people have come forward, including employees of Club Paradise, to indicate Mr. Gillani was fairly active with his cellphone camera.
Seglins: What's your feeling about you becoming a big part of this story?
Snowdy: I'm not a part of this story. There's nothing about me that's a part of this story. This is "kill the messenger," right?
Seglins: People are looking for you.
Snowdy: Everybody who's important and everyone that needs to know, knows where I am. The fact the media is looking for me, it's really inconsequential. I can tell you now the RCMP know exactly where I am. The Ontario Provincial Police know exactly where I am. The prime minister knows exactly where I am.
Seglins: What was your conversation with the PMO?
Snowdy: It was a simple email. I'm in Nassau attending to some client business, if you need me please let me know.
Seglins: What's it been like?
Snowdy: It's been a distraction trying to deal with a few issues with some clients but it's a pretty straightforward situation, all of it.
Seglins: Tell me about your cellphone and the inquiries.
Snowdy: My voicemail box filled up pretty full and my inbox got pretty busy. I didn't understand some of them until some of them were explained to me in context. I had some fairly direct and aggressive correspondence.
Seglins: What do you mean?
Snowdy: I guess I started getting a number of heated demands that if I didn't provide them with exclusive content that they had a story that related to a business enterprise of mine a couple of years ago and they were going to spin that into a personal issue.
Seglins: Members of the media were trying to blackmail you?
Snowdy: I wouldn't use the word blackmail but I think most of the lines went along with, "if you don't have any input in this we have to go with the story we have." OK, guys, I have no direction from my client to speak on the matter. You're a reporter. You generate sources. Do you give up sources?
Snowdy: No. And so the inference is that I should because media's curious? You know I don't understand what the expectation of the media was. You know you can be painted as a keyhole-peeping tom private dick, I think somebody referred to me as, or you can do the right thing, maintain your integrity and your client's confidentiality and that's what being in this business is all about. If you can't maintain your clients then you're not in this business.
Seglins: Your bankruptcy. It's all over the newspapers. You're $13 million in debt personally and your company went under.
Snowdy: (laughs) It's not like it's real money. There was a … an employee who I terminated for some gross misconduct and brought a claim against him and his other business enterprises to recover monies that were misappropriated. He filed a counterclaim, gross amount of money, seeking to deflect the situation.
Seglins: The $13 million, once again?
Snowdy: Like I said one … the 12 or 11.9 million dollars was a counterclaim to a suit I brought against a former employee I terminated for gross negligence.
Seglins: Do they want that much money from you?
Snowdy: Yes, $11.9 million and that was his way of responding to action we brought to recover money he misappropriated. The other was an interest and penalty charge from the CRA who actually never made the charge against me. Had I waited another 26 days their claim against me would have been nonexistent. They never did make the charge to me for penalties and interest that they had assessed at the company, but I felt it was responsible to list it and not ignore it.
Seglins: That bankruptcy story has raised questions about your credibility, your motives. We've got Mr. Gillani and his spokesperson saying some of the things that are being asserted from you, through you to the Toronto Star, are not true. Who should people believe?
Snowdy: People are free to make up their own minds. We know Mr. Gillani's situation. The police are now faced with numerous people as I'm told coming forward who were defrauded in various Gillani schemes. And I understand there are dozens of people, especially now that Mr. Gillani's asserted he's never taken any photographs, there are people pouring in the door. With respect to my issue I didn't ask anybody to jump into my camp. I have a long history with doing good work, a good job. My clients will tell you I do a good job, I deal with many of them. I don't run away. I've had the same phone number, the same email, the same address since…for the last five or six years. I'm pretty easy to find.
Seglins: What do you do for a living?
Snowdy: Right now I'm in the process of negotiating a future opportunity to start in a couple of months.
Seglins: Can you tell me what that is? Snowdy: Probably not prudent. I imagine I'll have to discuss next week whether that opportunity still exists, given the current circumstances, but if you're still interested in 60 days I'll send you a note.
Seglins: You're a [private investigator]?
Snowdy: That's correct. It's in the same field
Seglins: What do you do, what does that mean?
Snowdy: It means you conduct investigations if you're retained by a client, in certain circumstances to investigate matters of concern to them.
Seglins: You go undercover?
Snowdy: I have.
Seglins: Assume aliases?
Snowdy: I have.
Seglins: Tell lies?
Snowdy: We refer to it as a pretext.
Seglins: So you do invent stories for your work.
Snowdy: As part of undercover, everybody does. National Security does, police do, investigators from insurance companies do. It is an investigative tool.
Seglins: Any of the issues that you brought to the attention, either of the Toronto Star or to the Conservative Party invention, lies, pretext?
Snowdy: Absolutely not.
Seglins: One hundred per cent?
Snowdy: One hundred per cent.
Seglins: How can we believe that? We're in the middle of this big political firestorm.
Snowdy: I'm not asking you to. I haven't asked anyone in the media to. I haven't come to the media. You've come to me, each and every time.
Seglins: You are a P.I. I checked with the registrar in the province of Ontario. What's that say — you're a current member and you were making a point about the significance of that and I'd like you to make it.
Snowdy: My point to you when you asked if I was is to….how did it matter? The facts of the case are the facts of the case. It doesn't…the criminal courts doesn't assign any weight given the political nature of its defendants.
Seglins: More to the point of given you've had bankruptcy issues and regardless, the registrar doesn't have a problem with…
Snowdy: All of my books are open. The matter is very much open. I've always been extraordinarily up front. You're welcome to contact any of my…if there's an issue and you feel it's necessary yourself to ascertain the credibility if for whatever reason it's an issue for you with respect to credibility. You can contact former employees, you can contact my bank, you can contact any of the people I've dealt with professionally including the trustee of the corporation. You know I'll give you their names and numbers — it doesn't bother me — they're free to say whatever they want.
Seglins: We've spoken to a few of them. Some of them say you're a little bit abrasive.
Seglins: Sometimes angry.
Snowdy: I wouldn't classify it as angry — I'm fairly straightforward and I don't have a lot of … I don't suffer fools lightly.
Seglins: And some of them wonder … some of them raise the question of motive of coming forward. If you knew this about Mr. Gillani and involvement with Rahim Jaffer and Ms. Geurgis last fall, why was it in April that you shared any of this information with the Conservative party, or you offered it to the Liberals as well.
Snowdy: This wasn't a party matter and whether it was offered…the offer of information to them came as a result of Mr. Donovan's publication of the Star article on the morning of April 8th.
Seglins: But if you had concerns and if your client had concerns, why not last fall when you knew all of this?
Snowdy: I had no direction and instruction from the clients to discuss the matter outside of their … their business. You have to understand. You have a responsibility to these people and whether it's for $50,000 or $5 when you take on a matter you take on that responsibility of keeping that information confidential. As a matter of fact the law of Ontario requires you to keep that information confidential. So are you suggesting to me that I should have broken the law?
Seglins: Your issue of not being able to identify your clients, it's a little frustrating for us in the media who kind of want to know who was investigating Mr. Gillani, who thought it was important to bring it forward to the political parties?
Snowdy: I can understand that.
Seglins: So, who was your client?
Snowdy: (laughs) I think you spoke earlier with my client's lawyer. I think he probably gave you a statement. We both know you know the answer to that question.
Seglins: Will's (the client's lawyer) contacted him, he has disclosed his name and has entitled him to describe very briefly on his behalf. Will has on the record acknowledged that he has hired you. So are you not out of the box?
Snowdy: I am out of the box. Want me to say it?
Seglins: Yes, I do. I want to know who your client is.
Snowdy: My primary client when this started was Mr. Dennis Garces who has been a long-term friend of mine, and his business corporately, corporate client is H.D. Retail Solutions.
Seglins: And what was his particular interest in getting to the bottom of Mr. Gillani's affairs?
Snowdy: He was an investor into the company and was a partner in developing the company for financing and growth.
Seglins: And what happened to his money?
Snowdy: You have to ask Mr. Gillani. I think it's probably safe to say it's probably escorts and fast cars.
Below is a comment we received on the CBCnews.ca website from Brian Kilgore, who is a spokesperson for Nazim Gillani. We have not edited any part of this comment.
Readers should note that the CBC's Mr. Seglins is acting as a stenographer and not a journalist. Stenographers write down what people say, and journalists check out stories, look for confirmation, find other people who offer the same or very similar information,and so on. There is no corroberation of anything Snowdy says. Journalism, not stenography, should be expected from the CBC reporters and those back at headquarters who publish stories. Mr. Gillani is restained from detailed responses on an item by item basis because of a fraud case that is before the courts and because he wishes to make sure he does not violate any similar concept of "before the parliament" due to his invitation to appear before a Houce of Commons committee April 28 ILast evening Mr. Gillan told s CBC journalist, John Nicol, via an email sent by me, that Mr. Gillani would like to be interviewed by Peter Mansbridge, who he trusts, as soon as legally feasible -- most likely after the House of Commons committee hearings, and would supply the CBC with records for it to check out in advance. I am Mr. Gillani's spokesperson, Brian Kilgore