This is from the CBC.. One plausible explanation of these findings is that Mulroney made up the whole story. But then would Mulroney lie?;)
CBC-Globe report finds no evidence to back up Mulroney testimony
Former Thyssen board member calls lobbying claim 'absolute nonsense'
Last Updated: Monday, February 11, 2008 3:34 PM ET
A joint investigation by the CBC and the Globe and Mail has failed to find any corroboration for former prime minister Brian Mulroney's explanation of cash payments from German-Canadian businessman Karlheinz Schreiber.
During his testimony before a federal ethics committee hearing in December, Mulroney said he received cash payments — $225,000 in three instalments — from Schreiber after the then Tory leader left office in 1993.
Former prime minister Brian Mulroney prepares to testify before the Commons ethics committee on Parliament Hill in December. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)
The former prime minister said the money was remuneration for his work as an international lobbyist for Thyssen, a German manufacturer of armoured vehicles.
Mulroney told the committee that Schreiber hired him for "international representation" to lobby leaders in Russia, China and France on behalf of Thyssen, promoting the company's armoured vehicles for national needs and for use in United Nations peacekeeping operations.
The CBC and Globe contacted officials familiar with military sales in Russia, China, France, Canada as well as the company itself in its attempts to verify the former prime minister's claims, the CBC's Harvey Cashore said.
"While there's no evidence to disprove what Mr. Mulroney is saying, we couldn't find any evidence so far to corroborate it," Cashore said Monday.
"Everyone was scratching their heads. No one had heard about this."
In interviews with CBC News and the Globe and Mail, a former executive and spokeswoman for Thyssen said it has no official record of Mulroney doing any work for the company.
Winfried Haastert, who was on Thyssen's board at the time, told the CBC in a telephone interview that Mulroney's testimony of his lobbying deal with Schreiber was news to those who worked for the company.
"It's absolute nonsense," Haastert said. "We have not asked for this and we could simply not have imagined that."
Anja Gerber, spokeswoman for the company, which changed its name to ThyssenKrupp Technologies after a merger in 1999, told the journalists that Mulroney had "no official business with Thyssen."
Schreiber testified that the payments amounted to $300,000 and that terms were discussed while Mulroney was still prime minister. Mulroney denied he negotiated a lobbying deal with Schreiber while he was still in office, saying he promoted business on Schreiber's behalf only after stepping down.
'I just find it very strange'
Mulroney said he lobbied Chinese officials on behalf of Thyssen during a trip to Beijing in 1993. But Fred Bild, Canada's then ambassador to China, told CBC News he was with Mulroney on the trip, and said the former prime minister not once even mentioned to him he was lobbying for Thyssen.
"As far as we at the embassy were aware, we were not aware of anything of the sort, and we would have been, normally," Bild said. "I just find it very strange."
At the time of his trip, arms-trade sanctions that Mulroney's government imposed on China in the wake of the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre were still in place, Bild said.
The former prime minister also testified he lobbied then Russian president Boris Yeltsin in 1994, amid the country's difficult transition from the end of the Cold War, during which it was trying to sell much of its own military stock, according to defence expert Christopher Foss.
"As for selling vehicles to the Russians — forget it," said Foss, who tracks international military vehicle sales for the British publication, Jane's Defence Weekly.
Mulroney also told the committee he made two trips to France, in 1993 and 1994, to promote the Thyssen vehicles.
"You must be joking," Foss said of whether France, a leading armoured-vehicle exporters, would be in the market to buy vehicles from a German company.
Mulroney will have the chance to give more details himself soon. He's expected to testify again in front of the committee before the end of the month.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper has said a public inquiry will begin once the committee has finished its investigation, which could take several months.