Schreiber could blackmail Mulroney only because Mulroney took envelopes full of bills from Schreiber several times for questionable purposes. Schreiber and Mulroney are actually quite a bit alike only Mulroney has been vastly more successful!
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Brian cryin' blackmail
Accuses Schreiber of trying to extort help
By ELIZABETH THOMPSON, NATIONAL BUREAU
Last Updated: 14th May 2009, 2:16am
Former Conservative prime minister Brian Mulroney accused Karlheinz Schreiber of blackmail yesterday, saying he refused to intervene in Schreiber's extradition case even if it took a toll on his family.
Testifying before the Oliphant Commission which is probing his dealings with Schreiber, Mulroney said a letter Schreiber sent him, asking him to intervene with Prime Minister Stephen Harper's government or risk having details of their dealings made public, "was a clear case of extortion and blackmail."
"I knew my family and I would pay a price ... but I was ready to pay that price and more rather than succumb to the demands of a blackmailer. He was asking me to do something not (only) improper, (it was) absolutely illegal -- interfering with the judicial system to stop his extradition to Germany."
Mulroney admitted he made a mistake of his own, by accepting cash and then stashing it away in safes and a safety deposit box.
"What transpired represented a significant error of judgment -- one that I deeply regret and one for which I have paid dearly."
Mulroney also shed more light on what exactly happened to the money he received from the German-born businessman.
While Schreiber has testified he gave Mulroney $300,000, Mulroney maintains he only received $225,000.
A few months after, he became concerned Schreiber would create an income tax problem for him, and more than six years after receiving the last envelope of cash, Mulroney made a voluntary tax disclosure, declaring an extra $37,500 a year of company income for 1996, 1997 and 1998.
Mulroney said the remainder of the money was then his to do with as he pleased.
"I disbursed it to members of my immediate and extended family in Canada and the United States," he said.
Earlier, Mulroney broke down on the stand as he described the toll the fight to clear his name has had on him and his family.
CHOKED BACK EMOTION
"Nicholas was 10 years old," Mulroney said, his normally confident voice choking back emotion.
Mulroney's lawyer Guy Pratte spent much of the day questioning him about the Airbus affair and the letter the Canadian government sent Swiss authorities in 1995, alleging Mulroney was under investigation for possible criminal activity.
Mulroney said he suddenly found himself fighting the "powerful forces" of the federal government.
"This (was) right out of Kafka," he said, adding there was not a word of truth in the letter.
Mulroney eventually got a $2.1 million out-of-court settlement.