By Gabriel Princewill-
The principles used in jailing a man for submitting fraudulent documents to the High Court to claim assets worth hundreds of thousands of pounds could provide a criminal test for assessing the Martin Bashir’s actions in 1995 that saw him secure an interview with the BBC’s panorama.
Shahrooz Ghassemian, 47, was jailed for 8 years after submitting fraudulent payment schedules and false court orders to get money paid into three bank accounts in the name of his mother, after her property was sold as the result of a court order.
Following his sentencing last week, City of London Police said it was the first conviction of its kind in the UK.
Criminal lawyers scrutinising Martin Bashir’s highly reprehensive conduct nearly three decades ago perceive a common thread between the two cases, and are working with a few researchers in exploring Martin Bashir’s accountability with regards his actions two decades ago.
Only after the Dyson report was published, did BBC bosses providing an unreserved apology for the reckless way in which the shirked their responsibility at the time.
A handful of lawyers quietly espouse the view that a similar principle used to convict Ghassamian , could be used to trap the former BBC religious correspondent who hit the jackpot when he got Princess Diana to take part in a 1995 bombshell global hit interview.
The late princess’s brother, Earl Spencer, pushed for the Dyson report which confirmed that Martin Bashir breached the BBC’s Codes of Conduct. The report made no assertive pronouncement with respect to the potential criminal side of the matter. The Metropolitan police has since said they are examining the case.
credit Press Association
In the case of Ghassemian, the crook attempted to claim between £278,000 and £340,000 after he and his mother lost various civil cases against the court-ordered sale of the property. He fraudulently obtained an order in the High Court which allowed he and his mother, who has since died, to unlawfully regain the property and evict the rightful owner.
The 47 year old submitted fraudulent payment schedules and false court orders to get money paid into three bank accounts in the name of his mother, after her property was sold as the result of a court order. Following his sentencing last week, City of London Police said it was the first conviction of its kind in the UK.
Ghassemian, had fraudulently tried to claim between £278,000 and £340,000 after he and his mother lost various civil cases against the court-ordered sale of the property.
Legal experts say this is no different from Martin Bashir, who may equally have procured even more than that sum of figure in earnings, using fake documents to the secure an interview he would have known was a gold mine.
Lawyers sharing their thoughts with The Eye Of Media.Com are staying low key on the matter, refusing to risk their name or that of their law firm on such a hot topic.
Law firms err on the side of caution when it comes to going on record on cases they are not entirely sure enough to risk their reputation on, except where they are being paid a big fee to do so.
The broad nuances of law sometimes makes it difficult even for legal experts to be absolutely certain about a case, depending on the all the facts and circumstances of that specific case. Other considerations often come to play.
However, there is a keen interest here to establish whether the specific issues or legal principles surrounding this case are too complex or ambiguous for cops , or whether there is a case of favouritism here.
Fake Bank Statements
The similarity being explored is the fact that Mr.Bashir used fake bank statements to secure a big interview from which he certainly got paid. Exactly how much he was paid for the landmark interview is unknown, and the BBC has told this publication that it has no plans of revealing the exact sum he was paid.
A Freedom Of Information Request has been made to obtain this information, notwithstanding the intimate nature of the request which can be construed to fall within the remit of Data Protection. However, there may be a public interest to obtain this information, which trumps any notion of Data Protection.
Ghassamein provided enforcement agents between 2017 and 2018 with documents which appeared to be a genuine writ of possession and genuine writ of restitution of a property in Kensington, west London.
He later falsified a document purporting to be from a High Court judge stating that the £340,000 proceeds from the sale of his mother’s former property should be paid to her.
Lawyers are also making reference to Detective Constable Julian Bell, of City of London Police comments in which he said:
‘Ghassemian knew he and his mother had no legal standing with the property but tried to deceive the courts into handing over the money from the court-ordered sale and to unlawfully regain the property. His actions were determined attempts to deceive the High Court.’
Ghassemian, was found guilty of three counts of carrying out acts tending and intended to pervert the course of public justice.
Lawyers argue that Bashir had no legal standing to make whatever money he made from the Panorama interview, but only succeeded in earning the amount due to falsified bank statements.
The Metropolitan Police told The Eye Of Media earlier this week that they were still ”studying the entirety of the Dyson report in search of any new evidence”, adding that a ”criminal threshold must be met before an offence can be said to have taking place.
Weare keeping an eye on developments with great interest.