Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Mulroney's Achilles Heel

It's reported that the Commons Ethics Committee will have government lawyers open the questioning of Karlheinz Schreiber when and if he appears before them tomorrow.

If it was up to me, my first question would be to ask Schreiber if he would release his former lawyer, Robert Hladun, from his privilege restrictions concerning any communications between Hladun, Brian Mulroney and Mulroney's lawyer, Gerard Tremblay, during October, 1999, pertaining to funds that passed from Schreiber to Mulroney or Frank Moores.

Why focus on this? The answer is contained in this account from the Fifth Estate of events said to have transpired on October 17, 1999:

October 17, 1999

"Mulroney contacts Schreiber's lawyer Robert Hladun and asks him to ask Schreiber for a written statement indicating that at no time did Mulroney solicit or receive compensation from Karlheinz Schreiber.

Gerard Tremblay phones Robert Hladun and asks for a letter to keep on file from Schreiber, which is not to be disseminated, so that he can send a letter to the CBC which "would in his opinion shut down the airing of the fifth estate story on the "Airbus"—October 20th.

Mulroney contacts Hladun and tells him he has instructed Tremblay to send a letter to the fifth estate "indicating that if there was the slightest implication that Mr. Schreiber, Mr. Moores and Brian Mulroney were involved in any way then there would be terrible consequences.

He would issue the letter but first wanted an assurance or comfort in writing from Mr. Schreiber saying that he would confirm what he had publicly on many occasions, that at no time did Brian Mulroney solicit or receive of any kind from Schreiber. Mulroney called Hladun again that day, at which time Mulroney was told "I was no sure whether or not a letter would be forthcoming."

These events, to my mind, could be the most troublesome for Mulroney because of what they say if they're true and because they can be confirmed or denied by a person whose integrity is not questioned, Robert Hladun.

If Hladun corroborates this account it would put Mulroney in the spot of having to explain why he personally contacted Schreiber's lawyer asking for a letter from Schreiber denying payments that even Mulroney himself now acknowledges he received. It would also make it vastly more difficult for Mulroney to lay on the blarney about what he said under oath in his lawsuit and why he forgot to declare this income for tax purposes until it was disclosed in the media. In other words, any guy who would try to pull this stunt has just kissed goodbye the benefit of the doubt.

If these events didn't happen I think Hladun would be eager to set the record straight, if only to extricate himself from the controversy.

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