Anglia deal man 'needed no aid': The Archer Affair: Tory peer and business associate remain silent on motives behind share transaction. James Cusick reports

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The Independent Online
THE Kurdish business associate of Lord Archer, whose 'deal' with the Tory peer netted a quick pounds 80,000 profit, would have been capable of establishing his own credit with a stockbroker, City sources said.

Broosk Saib, an Iraqi businessman, is regarded by representatives of the Kurds in northern Iraq, as 'a wealthy man, capable of doing such a deal on his own.'

Mr Saib yesterday remained silent on the destination of the profit from the 50,000 shares in Anglia television gained in January. The money had 'not vanished', he said, but lawyers had advised him to say nothing.

Lord Archer ordered the shares four days before a take-over bid from MAI sent Anglia's shares soaring. Lady Archer is a non-executive director of Anglia.

Dealing with stockbrokers Charles Stanley, Lord Archer had the shares registered in the name of Mr Saib. Lord Archer's known wealth meant no money was needed upfront. An internal investigation by both Charles Stanley and the Stock Exchange's own insider-dealing police, resulted in a report being sent to the Department of Trade and Industry.

The Stock Exchange yesterday said its investigation of the deal was a matter of course. 'The Exchange wishes to make clear that this action was part of its normal procedures and not as a result of its attention being drawn to any particular transaction,' it said.

A five-month inquiry ended on July 28 when Michael Heseltine, the President of the Board of Trade, said no action would be taken against Lord Archer.

David Howard, managing director of Charles Stanley, said that if the deal had back-fired, regardless of Lord Archer registering the shares in the name of Mr Saib: 'We would have held Lord Archer personally responsible for the money.'

Rumours had been circulating that Lord Archer may have dealt on behalf of a poor political friend. Mr Saib's own credit credentials, appear to scotch that rumour.

Mr Howard said his firm had informed the DTI inquiry that Mr Saib had been sent the cheque and that it had been endorsed to another bank.

Mr Saib has known Lord Archer since 1991 when he became involved in a fundraising campaign for Kurds in Iraq suffering under Saddam Hussein.

A political representative of the Iraqi Kurds in London said: 'Mr Saib comes from a wealthy family. His father made a fortune in deals between London and Saddam Hussein's Iraq.' The Saib family are believed to hold substantial property in Putney, south-west London.

Asked if the money had been sent to northern Iraq, a Kurdish political representative said: 'The deal was purely individual business. It has not gone to Iraq.'

Robin Cook, Labour's industry spokesman, repeated his call yesterday for an 'independent second opinion' of the DTI report which remains unpublished. 'If the deal was above board, there should be no mystery where the money is.'

Neither Lord Archer, in Australia, nor Lady Archer at her home in Grantchester, Cambridge, would make any further comment.