Brian Mulroney: A Little Pasta with your Scandal?
Tuesday, November 20, 20073 Comments
Schreiber, now in jail awaiting extradition to Germany, alleges that the payments were connected to the 1988 purchase of a large order of Airbus jets for then-crown corporation Air Canada.
At the time, Airbus was in competition with Boeing for the contract. To increase its competitiveness, Boeing went so far as to buy Canadian aircraft manufacturer de Havilland, but sold the company again once Airbus won the contract.
Mulroney was already accused once in 1995 by the RCMP of accepting kickbacks from Schreiber for the sale of Airbus planes. The former PM denied the allegation and sued the Canadian government for defamation. The out of court settlement two years later ended in a public apology to Mulroney and payment of his $2.1 million legal expenses.
In 2003, it became clear that Mulroney did receive $300,000 from Schreiber. Though no one has proven that Mulroney actually took money while he was acting as Prime Minister, it is known that he accepted three cash payments of $100,000 each shortly after stepping down in 1993 and while he was still a member of parliament.
Mulroney himself has admitted to receiving $100,000 on December 8, 1994 in New York City. However, he did not declare the money when he returned to Canada, nor did he pay income tax on the money in the years he received it and the other two payments, raising suspicions that the income was not legitimate.
New allegations were filed by Schreiber, who is wanted in Germany on charges of fraud, bribery, and tax evasion related to the sale of the Airbus jets in Canada. Schreiber has now exhausted all avenues to appeal his extradition from Canada, but has threatened that he will only testify against Mulroney if the extradition order is delayed further.
After the new allegations against Mulroney came to light, Stephen Harper announced that Mulroney and his role in the Airbus affair would be re-examined through a full public inquiry led by University of Waterloo president David Lloyd Johnston.
Schreiber is scheduled to be extradited December 1, 2007. The commons ethics committee could forestall the order by ordering Schreiber to testify in Canada through a Speaker’s warrant which would compel him to testify about his relationship with Mulroney.
The committee meeting ended in chaos Tuesday afternoon, with MPs yelling and a pencil thrown at the chairman. The committee will meet again on Thursday.