Friday, July 27, 2007

Schreiber Gets the Best of Mulroney

Brian Mulroney has been ordered to pay his fellow shyster, er- entrepreneur, Karlheinz Schreiber, $470,000. The judgment of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice effectively orders Mulroney to make restitution of three cash payments the former Tory PM received from his then stalwart buddy, a key figure in the Airbus Scandal.

The payments came in the form of three envelopes, each neatly stuffed with $100,000 in cash. Mulroney would meet Schreiber in a coffee shop and an envelope would be passed across the table. Three meetings, $300,000.

CBC got its hands on Schreiber's Swiss bank records. They showed the cash came from money Schreiber was paid by Airbus for the sale of jetliners to Air Canada, money Schreiber called "schmiergelder" or "grease money."

By Schreiber's account it was dirty money, paid mobster-style, to a genuinely dodgy character.

Mulroney sued the Chretien government over the Airbus scandal and, under oath, claimed he'd never had any dealings with Schreiber. That claim was instrumental in the Canadian government's decision to fold and pay Mulroney $2-million.

Only later, when the evidence of the payments came out, did Mulroney start scrambling. He then said the money was a "retainer" to represent Schreiber to establish an arms factory and a pasta business.

At first Schreiber denied this but, as his battle to avoid extradition to Germany collapsed, he seems to have figured he might as well get his money back using Mulroney's own bizarre story to secure a judgment.

Now Mulroney is asking the court to set aside the judgment. He's challenging its jurisdiction to make the order - a tactic that won't require him to get into the facts of what actually happened. That motion is being argued today.

Personally I'd like to see Mulroney wind up with this case re-opened so he could argue the facts on their merits. Maybe Harpo could postpone Schreiber's extradition so this saga could all play out in court. I'm sure Harper's newfound buddy, Mulroney, would be ever so grateful for a chance to clear his wonderful name.

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