Sunday, December 16, 2007

Mulroney's Testimony before Ethics Committee

If one had to choose between who is the most consummate liar in this affair one would have to give the palm to Mulroney. He can sound absolutely convincing with his honeyed wounded tones. But the facts speak for themselves. He took the money by the bagful, failed to declare it until he more or less had to, in effect lied about his Schreiber involvements and got millions from the public purse as a result. Of course it was our money! He has no record of what it was used for! Schreiber certainly can reasonably complain there is no evidence that Mulroney did anything to earn his bags of cash.

An article in the Star is among many on Mulroney's recent testimony. A short couple of paragraphs sums up some of the important aspects of the situation Mulroney simply has not adequately explained.

But observers said Mulroney's declarations only cemented in the public's mind the fact that he took hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash from Schreiber and secreted it away without paying taxes on it for at least six years.

Given that the former prime minister only approached tax authorities about the money after Schreiber was arrested in 1999 on the charges from Germany, many opposition MPs felt Mulroney's explanations left a lot to be desired.

There were other missing pieces in the puzzle. Mulroney was asked Thursday why he did not disclose the payments he received from Schreiber when he was giving evidence under oath in 1996 as part of his libel suit against the Canadian government arising from Ottawa's Airbus investigation. He said he was asked only about events related to the Airbus sale.

And he said he was unable to provide notes, receipts or other records to show how he used the money he got from Schreiber as a retainer and expense money for the military vehicles project.

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