Karlheinz Schreiber knows the only thing anyone wants from him now is what he knows about the Airbus affair and his pal, Brian Mulroney.
The artful dodger intends to keep what he knows to himself, hoping against hope to cut some deal. In other words, Schreiber, under subpoena to tell all, is defying parliament to extract a deal. In my books that's extortion.
Schreiber, or probably his lawyers, have crafted his objections rather neatly. He won't testify - not quite yet. First he has to go through his papers, refresh his memory. Now, that one's reasonable. It's the second one that's cute. He doesn't want to talk until his extradition case is resolved. What he's saying is that (a) he's currently before the courts in a dispute with the federal government, (b) what he has to say may be damaging to this same government, so (c) he doesn't want to prejudice his extradition case by speaking prematurely.
Of course, the other way to look at this is that Schreiber is saying he won't talk if he's going to a German cell anyway.
Here's something I'd love to know. Schreiber says he has a raft of documents and correspondence in his Ottawa home dealing with this business. Why has no one sought a search warrant for those papers? Why would anyone allow Schreiber to cull them and possibly cherrypick what suits his purposes?
If Karlheinz is going to dummy up, let's get that on the record and get rid of him, just as soon as the court has heard his final cry for help. But let's also get those papers and see just what story they tell.
And then, let's subpoena Schreiber's former lawyer, Robert Hladun. We should get Hladun's evidence about the overtures supposedly made to him by Mulroney and Mulroney's lawyer seeking a written statement from Schreiber claiming that no money changed hands between them.
Solicitor-client privilege is broad but it's far from absolute and I think this particular exchange would probably not be protected. Hladun's discussions about it with Schreiber may be privileged but I fail to see how the actual discussions he had with Mulroney or his counsel would be covered. He owes them no privilege. As I've said before, I thin Hladun could be the smoking gun in this one. If I was counsel to the committee, I'd be serving that subpoena on him this afternoon.