I might as well be accused of having sex with a donkey."


The Independant.
Gurkha accused points finger at Cherie Blair

She is the one who is really profiting from veterans' plight, says former welfare official

By Kim Sengupta, Defence Correspondent

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

A Gurkhas' welfare group says Cherie Blair took large sums for legal advice

An official from a welfare group at the centre of the bitter controversy over Gurkha veterans being charged cash for advice on settling in Britain has accused Tony Blair's wife of making money from the former soldiers.

The Gurkhas were awarded legal aid for their dispute with the British government, but it was set to cover only part of the legal fees, and Padam Bahadur Gurung of the Gurkha Army Ex-Servicemen's Organisation (Gaeso) claims that the veterans have now been billed £147,230.78 for the rest.

Speaking publicly for the first time, Mr Gurung told The Independent that he and his associates denied taking £500 each from around 4,000 veterans for advice on how to settle in Britain.

He said large sums of money had been claimed by Cherie Booth QC and the prominent civil rights solicitor Phil Shiner in cases which had been partly covered by legal aid. He said the organisation had a letter from Mr Shiner demanding £147,230.78 in payment.

Gaeso itself is now split, with a breakaway faction demanding that Mr Gurung and his associates account for the £2m they have allegedly collected from the Gurkhas. Mr Gurung accused the MoD and a former legal adviser to the organisation, Gopal Siwakoti Chintan, of vilifying the organisation and Ms Lumley to prevent it from continuing to fight for Gurkha rights.

He said: "Gaeso has remained silent in face of severe and unsubstantiated criticism prompted mainly by the MoD and Siwakoti... We are now ready to expose these lies.

"The MoD had never called for an investigation into our alleged malpractice until [the minister for Veterans] Kevan Jones smeared Joanna Lumley and her Gurkha Justice Campaign in front of the British Parliament."

He continued: "The only time Gaeso raised money from its members was for the Gurkha pensions case. Siwakoti orchestrated an arrangement with Phil Shiner and Cherie Booth for the case, even though it was supposed to be funded under legal aid.

"Gurkhas were still required to pay Cherie Booth, Phil Shiner and Siwakoti's legal fees... Indeed, there is a letter from Phil Shiner which states that Gaeso were required to pay an outstanding £147,230.78."

A spokeswoman for Cherie Booth at Matrix Chambers referred Mr Gurung's allegations to Mr Shiner. Mr Shiner, who has pursued a number of high-profile cases against the MoD, said: "To imply that I have been involved in some kind of conspiracy with the MoD against Mr Gurung and Gaeso is ridiculous. I might as well be accused of having sex with a donkey."

Mr Shiner acknowledged that he had charged the organisation money, but explained: "Although we did get legal aid funding, the ruling was that Gaeso should themselves make a part-contribution towards the cost.

"I continued working for Gaeso on other cases afterwards, and what I charged them related to those matters as well. Every single pound, every single penny, was accounted for. To bring this up now is an attempt by Mr Gurung to muddy the waters. I gather that he is facing some pretty serious allegations himself and he seems to be trying to deflect focus from that."

An inquiry ordered by Mr Jones into fees being charged over advice to Gurkhas cleared Howe & Co, a firm of London solicitors dealing with Gurkha rights, of any wrong-doing.

An MoD spokesman said: "We have opened a Gurkha settlement office in Nepal which is offering ex-Gurkhas education about life in the UK and free help with visa applications."

With a Donkey !
A Bliar on the make? Surely not?...... Are you at all surprised?
I am surprised that they are surprised. The entire tribe of Bliars would suck a turd through a lepers sock if it meant they would make some money.

Edited for mong spelling.
If this is all true,which I feel it probably is,Cherie needs taking out and put against the wall in front of a Gurka firing squad....greedy cnut!!!
The Bliars have raped this Country,and they.re still doing it,fcuking wnakers,
Mr Shiner who has pursued a number of high-profile cases against the MoD, said: "To imply that I have been involved in some kind of conspiracy with the MoD against Mr Gurung and Gaeso is ridiculous. I might as well be accused of having sex with a donkey."
Why would that act be first thing he thought of? Has he been shagging donkies? Or at least contemplating it? Freudian slip per chance? But still a very odd think to say or compare this accusation against him.

Not that I care one way or another, just funny to see him on the end of someones outrage for a change. No doubt he'll retort with 'claim for compo from fish disturbed by Royal Navy submarines" or simialr.


Book Reviewer
Soooo, at the back of this stinking row about charging Ghurkas unfair fees are not only the firm charging the fees, but also the wide mouthed frog!

Well, truly, I'm surprised.
There have been question marks over Cherie Blair and Shiner for a while,
The letter below appeared in the Nepal Times a few years back.

Nepal Times said:
It appears to me that an awful lot of money is being taken from ex-
Gurkhas in Nepal to pay solicitor Phil Shiner, who is not from
Matrix Chambers as stated your piece “Ayo Gorkhali” (#93), but
is a solicitor who works alone, and to pay Cherie Blair when
there is no need to do so. Hari Thapa is doing the same thing
without any cost to ex-Gurkhas, and he also has two top
barristers. The outcome of Hari Thapa’s case will have precedence
for all other ex-Gurkhas, and Cherie Blair will have to
abide by the ruling of the court. It has taken five years for Thapa
to get this far and the cost to the British taxpayer has run into
millions. At this time in the hearing he has effectively won
the first hurdle, and the Ministry of Defence is appealing. Why is
GAESO taking the MoD to court when it is already being done for
them? The MoD’s barrister is Rabinda Singh, a partner of
Cherie Blair in Marix Chambers. I think this is all down to money,
and who can make the most from ex-Gurkhas. I am sure
GAESO, Geaso Phil Shiner and Cherie Blair all have £ signs in
their eyes. As for having an “airtight case”, Phil Shiner should
think again. After five years the courts have not even heard any
evidence in the Hari Thapa case. It will probably take another five
years just to do that.
EJ H******* RSM RAMC
It probably wasn't necessary to asterisk out the author's name but I've erred on the side of caution. I would guess he is a respected name in the RAMC and not normally given to hyperbole.


Book Reviewer
Mr Shiner is no pal of the MOD, to put it mildly. It appears that we have here a case of a falling-out amongst, well, let's just say, a falling-out amongst 'friends'.

Shiner, Blair, and Matrix Chambers as a whole have invented a new, and extremely lucrative industry based on the premise that EVERYTHING that we do, in Military and civvy life, EVERYWHERE in the world, should be treated as if it occurred in the UK (occurred in the nicer parts of N London, in fact, as opposed to somewhere else that is probably outside their field of experience). While possibly laudable from a pure human-rights viewpoint, it is in practical terms impossible to achieve. What Matrix have done is made money from the cracks between our wish (as enshrined by Law, e.g. the ECHR) that everyone in the world be nice to each other, and the reality, that this is often, sadly, not the case.

Like cockroaches, they live in the cracks and thrive off the detritus and droppings of others.

I don't really like them.
Memory says that the day Human Rights Law became law only one 'Chamber' was up and running.
A clear advantage when your sleeping with the Enemy and know for sure that it is going to happen.

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