The Telegraph: Allegations of fraud, deceit and dishonest behaviour on behalf of a legal adviser to the President of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, are set to emerge from the collapse of a Welsh steel mill in 2007.
Allegations of fraud, deceit and dishonest behaviour on behalf of a legal adviser to the President of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, are set to emerge from the collapse of a Welsh steel mill in 2007.
By Jonathan Russell
Shahram Shirkhani, an Iranian businessman who describes himself as an “international legal adviser to the Office of the President of the Republic of Iran” is facing a court showdown over accusations of a multi-million pound fraud.
Mr Shirkhani, who is also a business associate of David Mills, the estranged husband of Labour MP Tessa Jowell, had his assets frozen two years ago in relation to the case.
He now faces a court hearing brought by the liquidators of Alphasteel, the Welsh steel mill that collapsed into administration with the loss of 300 jobs.
Mr Shirkhani is accused of improperly receiving £3.5m while working as a consultant to Alphasteel. The bulk of the claim is thought to relate to payments made to him for negotiating “non-existent” credit facilities. He is also accused of deceit, dishonest breach of fiduciary duty and making improper claims for expenses.
Mr Shirkhani worked as a consultant for Alphasteel over a two-year period running up to its collapse into administration. During that period he was paid £10,000 a month plus benefits and bonuses. Mr Shirkhani claims all money paid to him was legitimately earned in the course of his work. He denies all the claims.
The case at the High Court is likely to be complicated by the wholesale destruction of documents carried out just before Alphasteel went into administration. Court papers allege the documents were shredded by Rosso Safavi, the managing director of the company and representative of then owner, Iranian steel magnate Mohammad Rostami-Safa.
Although Mr Mills is not involved in the court case he has links to both Mr Shirkhani and Alphasteel. He advised Mr Rostami-Safa on his business dealings in the UK. Prior to that he worked with Mr Shirkhani on a controversial deal to sell passenger jets to Iran.
Mr Shirkhani’s lawyer Peter Atkinson of Gordon Dadds declined to comment. Simon Hart of ReedSmith working for Alphasteel also declined.