Arms dealer links Canada ex-PM's chief of staff to scandal
Dec 6, 2007
Karlheinz Schreiber testified before a House of Commons ethics committee probing the 1.8 billion dollar sale of 34 Airbus A320 aircraft to Air Canada in July 1988.
Schreiber said that in 1992 or 1993 Mulroney's then chief of staff Fred Doucet "asked me to make sure that GCI (Government Consulting Inc.) money goes to a lawyer in Geneva for Mulroney."
Schreiber said he replied: "What for?"
"And now came this unbelievable answer. He said: 'For Airbus,'" allegedly implicating Mulroney in kickbacks, Schreiber told the Commons committee.
"I hear myself, even today, saying, 'What the hell has Mulroney to do with Airbus?' And his answer was, 'Are you naive?'"
Schreiber also indicated that he had paid GCI 20 million dollars from Airbus Industries to lobby for the Airbus aircraft sale to Air Canada.
During this period, Mulroney appointed GCI chair Frank Moores to Air Canada's board of directors. Mulroney was said to have been planning to join GCI when he left politics in 1993.
Schreiber later testified that GCI chair Frank Moores told him to "leave it with us, don't talk about it, you have nothing to do with all this."
The line of questioning was prompted by a letter Schreiber had written to Mulroney in which he threatened: "I'm prepared to disclose that you received payments from GCI, (and its shareholders) Frank Moores, Fred Doucet and Gary Ouellet and I was asked to transfer funds to your lawyer in Geneva [Airbus]."
Since 1999, Schreiber has been fighting extradition to Germany to face bribery, fraud and tax evasion charges for his alleged role in a campaign finance scandal involving former German chancellor Helmut Kohl's Christian Democratic Union party and commissions earned for negotiating arms sales.
He was summoned before the Commons ethics committee to elaborate on his claims that Mulroney had accepted 300,000 dollars in cash from him at three hotel meetings in Montreal and New York in the 1990s "for future services."
In an affidavit, Schreiber said Mulroney had arranged the money deal two days before he left office in 1993, and later tried to cover it up.
Mulroney, who federal police accused in 1995 of accepting kickbacks from Schreiber for the Airbus purchase, has denied any wrongdoing.