Former finance director confirms ‘unethical behaviour’ should have been reported to him
Vijay Vaghela was appointed as Trinity Mirror finance director in 2003, and sat on the board as one of three executive directors – along with chief executive Sly Bailey and company secretary Paul Vickers.
In his statement to the Leveson inquiry, he described his role as ensuring a “strong financial control environment” – as well as a duty to make sure the business was “run in an appropriate way”.
David Sherborne, representing Prince Harry, says it would have been Mr Vaghela’s duty to investigate if someone became aware payments were being made for unlawful purposes.
He asks whether the board should be told about it if there was evidence of this happening.
“If there is evidence then I agree, yes,” Mr Vaghela says.
Mr Sherborne says Mr Vaghela had also chaired the finance committee, which would make sure people were complying with the company’s group procurement policy.
The barrister says that within this policy, “any potential unethical behaviour” should be directly reported to Mr Vaghela or Mr Vickers.
“Ensuring this was adhered to in practice… that was ultimately your responsibility?” Mr Sherborne asks.
“Ultimately, myself and the board,” Mr Vaghela replies.
The former Trinity Mirror employee says there were “checks along the way”.
For example, contributor payments would be checked to make sure the home addresses were not the same as anyone’s on the payroll.
Mr Sherborne says this suggests there was a “careful monitoring process” of who was being paid for what.