Thursday, December 6, 2007

Schreiber makes Airbus claims

So much for Schreiber exonerating Mulroney. All he said was that the 300,000 he paid Mulroney was not for Airbus. The documents obviously go far beyond the testimony that Schreiber gave the other day. It will be interesting what more turns up. Of course an allegation is one thing, proof is quite another. Schreiber is after all not the most squeaky clean of witnesses! His voice is not as melliflous as Mulroney's when he lies either!

Schreiber makes Airbus claims

May 2007 letter alleges that Mulroney received payments from firm that worked on Airbus deal

Dec 06, 2007 04:30 AM
richard brennan
Bruce Campion-Smith
Ottawa Bureau

OTTAWA – Brian Mulroney received payments from a lobbying firm that worked to sell Airbus planes to Air Canada, Karlheinz Schreiber charges in a bitter, threatening letter to the former prime minister.

In a May 8, 2007 letter, Schreiber warns Mulroney that he is "prepared to disclose" that incendiary allegation along with other dramatic claims, including that he was asked by former Mulroney aide Fred Doucet to transfer funds "to your Lawyer in Geneva."

That is followed in brackets by the note, "Airbus."

The letter does not say when Doucet allegedly made the request.

Today, Schreiber is to appear for the third time before the Commons ethics committee to face questions on what, if anything, he knows about payments to Mulroney.

On Tuesday, Schreiber denied that the $300,000 he had paid Mulroney was linked to Air Canada's purchase of Airbus jets.

"I received great laughs when this story came out that Brian Mulroney was involved with Airbus," he told the committee.

A spokesperson for Mulroney refused to comment on the letter yesterday, preferring to let Mulroney speak for himself when he appears before the committee as early as next Tuesday.

The RCMP spent years probing suspected kickbacks in connection with the $1.8 billion sale of Airbus jets to Air Canada in 1988. When word leaked that Mulroney's name had surfaced in the probe, he sued and won a $2.1 million settlement in 1997 from the Liberal government.

Mulroney has long denied any impropriety in the Airbus deal.

But Schreiber, a former arms dealer, revives the politically charged allegation in his letter, saying Mulroney received payments from Government Consultants International – an Ottawa-based lobbying firm – as well as its principals Frank Moores, Fred Doucet and Gary Ouellet.

Schreiber also claims that "you asked me through my lawyers to commit perjury to protect you" and the former prime minister "supported fraud" related to a project to build an armoured vehicle plant in Cape Breton.

"The time has come that you bring the whole battle with me to a peaceful and satisfying end. This is my last warning," wrote Schreiber, who is facing extradition to Germany to face charges of bribery and tax evasion.

Schreiber is suing Mulroney, seeking the return of $300,000 he claims he paid in three instalments to the former prime minister – including one in August 1993 while Mulroney was still an MP – for business development help.

"It is in your hands what is going to happen. My patience comes to an end," he says in his letter.

The May 8 letter was among hundreds of documents tabled by Schreiber at his appearance before the ethics committee Tuesday.

"If it is true, these are very serious allegations that warrant an investigation. And again, another good reason to have a full public inquiry," said Liberal MP Robert Thibault (West Nova), who is a member of the Commons' ethics committee.

In the documents made public yesterday, Schreiber wrote at least a dozen letters to Prime Minister Stephen Harper dating back to August 2006 complaining of the "political justice scandal" and demanding a public inquiry to clear the air.

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister's Office has received reams of correspondence from Schreiber and his lawyer Eddie Greenspan, as have Conservative Justice Minister Robert Nicholson and former justice minister Vic Toews.

For most of this year Schreiber and Greenspan have been sending letters and relevant materials detailing Schreiber's ongoing extradition battle.

As recently as Nov. 25, Schreiber sent a letter to Harper noting he was sending all the information to him again since Harper told the Commons he had never seen any correspondence from Schreiber. The PMO three days later acknowledged receipts of the information.

"I would like to bring some facts concerning the ongoing vendetta against me and the conspiracy of the Department of Justice and the public prosecutor's office in Augsburg, Germany to your attention," Schreiber stated. But Schreiber's reams of correspondence had little sway over the government's decision to extradite him to Germany.

In a Dec. 1, 2006 letter, then justice minister Toews rejects Schreiber's claims that he's being tossed out of the country in a bid to prevent him from disclosing key information in the Airbus affair.

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