Businessman Gillani to testify in Jaffer affair
The Toronto businessman at the heart of the Rahim Jaffer scandal says he will "clarify" with contracts and emails his business relationship with the former MP when he testifies Wednesday before a House of Commons committee.
Nazim Gillani, through his spokesman Brian Kilgore, said he will tell the government operations committee that Jaffer did not cut off business dealings with Gillani when he realized there was "no synergy," as Jaffer told the same committee last Wednesday.
Jaffer, in the context of discussing two highly publicized meetings with the Toronto businessmen in August and September, told the committee: "If you are a businessman who is smart, you don't jump into bed with anyone immediately. You take the time to learn about them, and if you find there is no synergy you leave them in good nature and you don't work with them.
"That is what happened with Mr. Gillani. We had the chance to meet with him. We had a few exploratory meetings and realized that our businesses were not convergent and we didn't do any business with him."
Kilgore hinted that on Wednesday, Gillani may testify that he was in regular contact with Jaffer well into December, long after the "exploratory" meetings.
As well, Gillani will present a contract between his company and Green Power Generation — the company Jaffer ran with partner Patrick Glémaud — which will spell out what Gillani expected to get from the former MP from Edmonton, Kilgore said.
In testimony at last week's hearing, Jaffer and Glémaud denied they were lobbying the government for companies they represented, even though their own Green Power Generation website boasted of their connections to government, and they had approached cabinet ministers and applied for grants on behalf of clients.
"Glemaud and Jaffer may have a point," when it comes to the government's definition of lobbying, said Kilgore, "but from Gillani's point of view, it's clear [in the contract] what he thought they were going to do for him."
Kilgore said Gillani will make full use of the 10 minutes allotted for an opening statement. In response to previous media reports, he said Gillani plans to refute:
- Allegations that he had cellphone photos of cocaine parties with Jaffer and his wife, former Tory cabinet minister Helena Guergis.
- Various allegations made by private eye Derrick Snowdy, who claimed to have intimate knowledge of Gillani's business dealings.
- Allegations of connections to organized crime.
- Allegations about his control of offshore companies that may or may not be set aside for Jaffer and his wife.
After his opening statement Wednesday, Kilgore said Gillani will be happy to answer questions from the committee, but not from the media.