Former Mulroney aide says Schreiber claim of cash request false



Chris Wattie/reuters


German-Canadian arms dealer Karlheinz Schreiber arrives to testify before the Commons ethics committee on Parliament Hill in Ottawa yesterday. The committee is probing his business dealings with former prime minister Brian Mulroney.

Karlheinz Schreiber testified yesterday that he was shocked when asked by one of Brian Mulroney’s associates to send money from the Airbus sale to a Swiss bank account set up for the then prime minister.

Schreiber told the House of Commons ethics committee that lobbyist Fred Doucet, who was Mulroney’s former chief aide, asked him to send the cash to a bank account in Switzerland controlled by Mulroney’s lawyer.

He said the incident took place in late 1992 or early 1993 when Mulroney was still prime minister. Airbus made a $1.8-billion deal to provide new aircraft for Air Canada in 1988. Mulroney was prime minister from 1984 to 1993.

“I said, ‘What are you talking about?’ Why the hell would one send money to a lawyer in Geneva for Mr. Mulroney? What for?’” Schreiber said.

“Now came this angry response and he said, ‘For Airbus.’”

Schreiber testified that when he persisted with his questioning, Doucet added, “Are you naive?”

The exchange, he said, took place in Ottawa at Government Consultants International, a lobbying firm then operated by former Newfoundland premier Frank Moores.

Schreiber said he asked Moores about Doucet’s request and was told to forget about it. “Leave it with us. Don’t talk about it. You have nothing to do with all this,” he quoted Moores as saying.

Doucet categorically denied that he asked Schreiber to funnel cash to an account set up for Mulroney.

“Mr. Schreiber alleged that I requested that he approach the late Frank Moores and the late Gary Ouelette to request that they forward monies held by Government Consultants International to the Right Honourable Brian Mulroney to his alleged lawyer in Geneva. This statement is false,” Doucet said in a written statement. “A similar allegation made in an affidavit sworn by Karlheinz Schreiber on the 7th of November, 2007 is also false.”

Doucet said he wants to give testimony before the ethics committee.

Responding last night to Doucet’s statement, Schreiber told Torstar News Service: “Let him testify: We’ll have a polygraph and see who’s telling the truth.”

The saga continues

  • It was Schreiber’s third appearance at the committee, which is looking into his business dealings with Mulroney. The former arms dealer is out on bail pending a court appeal of an extradition order to Germany, where he is wanted on charges of fraud, bribery and income tax evasion.