OTTAWA - Rahim Jaffer asked a controversial Toronto entrepreneur to contribute to his wife Helena Guergis' Conservative riding association as recently as January, months after the former Tory MP claims he had ended his business dealings with the man.
Documents obtained by The Canadian Press also show Jaffer offered his sympathy and help to "Naz," Nazim Gillani, as he faced fraud charges.
The former Tory MP's relationship with Nazim Gillani appear to have gone far beyond the brief talks the former MP described to a Commons committee in April.
Jaffer acknowledged in an email Tuesday that there was confusion around his testimony and information that has since emerged, but said he hoped to clarify things at a second appearance next week.
The exact nature of Jaffer's relationship with Gillani was the key factor in the ousting of wife Helena Guergis from the Conservative caucus and cabinet and led to the party blocking her from seeking the nomination in her riding. A private investigator who had been looking into Gillani's background went to the Conservative party with concerns about the optics of Guergis being seen with a man facing a fraud charge and a string of angry investors.
Gillani owned an investment company, while Jaffer co-directed a consulting firm that sought to bring renewable energy projects to market. The two men had ostensibly been talking about investing in waste management technology among other projects.
Jaffer said their talks fell apart because he could find no "synergies" with Gillani's firm and the only contact he had with Gillani after Sept. 10, 2009 was to return materials to him.
At that point, they "ended any form of business relationship," Jaffer testified.
A series of emails sent between Gillani, his partner Mike Mihelic, Jaffer and Jaffer's partner Patrick Glemaud between October 2009 and April 2010 suggest a different story. The documents were recently tabled with the government operations committee by Gillani.
In October, Jaffer is instructed in how to deposit money into a numbered company owned by Mihelic. That investment in a third company eventually fell through according to Gillani's spokesman Brian Kilgore.
In one message Jaffer sent Nov. 15, the former MP reaches out to Gillani after he was charged in a fraud case.
"Hey Naz, I'm sorry you have had all these crazy problems last week and it seems like the situation may still be messy over the next while," Jaffer writes. "Let me know if there is anything I can do to help."
Jaffer goes on to describe how they should proceed with developing a shell company for a firm called Renewable Energy Group (REG), and how he had sent executives there a memorandum of understanding and a finder's fee agreement.
Kilgore said he couldn't immediately comment on where that shell company was to be located, but MPs have heard that Gillani had boasted of holding a number of offshore shell companies in Belize and Panama.
Jaffer had previously approached the federal government to determine if REG's renewable energy project might be eligible for stimulus funding. Jaffer is facing allegations that he and Glemaud illegally lobbied the government.
In January 2010, Jaffer invited Gillani to a fundraiser in Guergis' riding co-hosted by Senator Mike Duffy. The proceeds were to go to her Conservative riding association.
"It would be great if you can actually attend the event and make a weekend of it...but if not, maybe you could still get a couple of tickets to either give away or we could give them to some students who are interested to attend," Jaffer wrote.
Gillani's spokesman said he never attended, nor did he purchase tickets.
A few months later, Jaffer's relationship with Gillani was splashed across the front-page of the Toronto Star in a story that served as a catalyst for Guergis losing her job.
But days before reporter Kevin Donovan's feature appeared, Gillani, Jaffer and Glemaud exchanged emails about Donovan's unsuccessful requests for interviews.
"This fucking guy won't stop huh?" Gillani wrote to Jaffer and Glemaud.
"We should not entertain any reply to him. He keep (sic) sending emails to us because he has nothing, so he is fishing," Glemaud wrote back two days before the April 8th story appeared.
Gillani's lawyer had already been putting together a letter to the Star, criticizing Donovan's repeated attempts to speak to Gillani by phone or in person — described as a "telephone/email assault."
"Mr. Gillani has found Mr. Donovan's continual entreaties to be disruptive and bothersome and he has unhesitatingly told Mr. Donovan so, yet he persists," wrote Michael Taylor.
Donovan said he never received the letter.
Jaffer did not respond to a request Tuesday for comment on the contents of the documents.