A SOLICITOR accused of passing information to drug dealers about investigations into them has categorically denied the alle- gations.

Basharat Ditta, who worked for law firm Forbes, in Blackburn, told a jury that had he known the now-convicted dealers were involved with men being questioned by police, he would never have spoken to them about what was going on.

The 42-year-old told Liverpool Crown Court that when he was contacted by dealer Suhail Vohra shortly after the arrest of one of his couriers, he only spoke about the defendant’s welfare. Mr Ditta, of Adelaide Terrace, Blackburn, said: “I did not know anything about the investigation. I was not at the police station to know anything about the investigation.

“In terms of what was going on with the investigation, I did not know anything to pass on to Mr Vohra.

“When he contacted me I was not suspicious because of the fact that he had a genuine relationship with him. If I was suspicious, I would not have spoken to Mr Vohra, full stop.”

It is alleged that when drugs couriers acting on behalf of Neil Scarborough, Tahier Chand and Vohra were arrested as part of Lancashire Police’s serious and organised crime unit’s Operation Oak, Ditta would have “careful conversations” with those representing the alleged couriers to find out information that might help the trio continue supplying class A drugs.

The crown alleges that the defendant passed on messages to them, knowing the details could frustrate the ongoing police investigation.

Ditta denies two counts of perverting the course of justice.

Defending, Simon Choker QC asked Ditta why he had contacted Scarborough after the arrest of the courier.

The defendant told the court: “If I was a corrupt lawyer, which I am not, and I wanted to feed information to Mr Scarborough, I would not wait 15 hours, I would do it immediately.”