Friday, December 07, 2007

Schreiber Testimony Continues

The Globe and Mail reports on the continuation of Karlheinz Schreiber's testimony Thursday before the Commons Ethics Committee:

Brian Mulroney's former chief of staff asked Karlheinz Schreiber to send money to the former prime minister's lawyer in Switzerland “for Airbus,” Mr. Schreiber testified Thursday.

Mr. Schreiber told the House of Commons ethics committee that he was stunned when Fred Doucet requested he transfer cash to a Swiss bank account. Mr. Doucet was working at the time as a lobbyist.

He said the conversation occurred when Mr. Mulroney was still in office and took place in the Ottawa offices of lobbyists Government Consultants International (GCI), a firm run by former Newfoundland premier and Mulroney associate Frank Moores.

“I nearly froze when he said, ‘I want you to make sure that GCI through you transfers certain amounts of money to an account in Geneva,' to a lawyer in Geneva, which is Mr. Mulroney's lawyer,” Mr. Schreiber said.

“Why the hell would one send money to a lawyer in Geneva for Mr. Mulroney? What for? And now came his unbelievable answer: He said, ‘For Airbus.' And I hear myself, even today, saying what the hell has Mulroney to do with Airbus? And his answer was, ‘Are you naive?' ”

....Members of the House of Commons ethics committee questioned Mr. Schreiber about a threatening letter he sent in May to the former prime minister.
The letter, included in more than 4,000 personal documents that Mr. Schreiber turned over to the committee at his last appearance, accused the Harper government and Mr. Mulroney of “conspiracy and cover-up action” regarding his pending extradition to Germany.

“This is my last warning, “ the former arms dealer and lobbyist wrote. “I am prepared to disclose ... that I was asked by Fred Doucet to transfer funds to your lawyer in Geneva, (Airbus) ... that you asked me through my lawyers to commit perjury to protect you. ... and more.” Although most of the allegations have been already reported by journalists, committee members seized on the reference to Airbus and Mr. Doucet.

....Liberal MP Robert Thibault said the letter raises serious questions. “If this is not true,” he said, “then it's blackmail. Then it should have been turned over to the RCMP, I would think, by Mr. Mulroney. If it is true, these are very serious allegations that warrant an investigation.”

- Garry J. Wise, Toronto

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