"The entire thing is an absolute, total
fabrication," Mr. Doucet said. "It is not true. I've never known
a lawyer in Geneva and I don't, to this day, know one and I have
never spoken with Karlheinz Schreiber about transferring any
In an unsolicited e-mail that Mr. Doucet
sent to The Globe shortly after his phone call, he repeated his
denial and said "I think you are being led down the garden
Mr. Doucet, who was Mr. Mulroney's first
chief of staff when he became leader of the opposition in 1983,
declined to answer any questions about other meetings that Mr.
Schreiber states, in his affidavit, he had with Mr. Doucet.
The affidavit also states that it was
while Mr. Mulroney was still in office that the two struck a
deal for the former prime minister to be paid $300,000 after he
left public life.
According to the affidavit, Mr. Doucet,
at the request of Mr. Mulroney, invited Mr. Schreiber to the
prime minister's official summer residence at Harrington Lake in
Quebec's Gatineau Park on June 23, 1993 — just days before Mr.
Mulroney's official resignation.
"It was at this meeting that Mr.
Mulroney and I entered into the Agreement," Mr. Schreiber states
in his affidavit.
In a phone call late Thursday night, Mr.
Mulroney's spokesman Luc Lavoie confirmed that the Harrington
Lake meeting took place, but said "there was no discussion
whatsoever ... of any agreement of any sort."
Mr. Schreiber's visit was "a courtesy
sort of thing," set up by Mr. Doucet, Mr. Lavoie said.
When asked how Mr. Mulroney knew to meet
Mr. Schreiber two months later at a Montreal hotel to pick up
his first payment of $100,000, Mr. Lavoie said that Mr. Doucet
arranged the first payment some time after the Harrington Lake
Mr. Schreiber, who has a court hearing
next week that will likely dictate whether he is extradited to
Germany on bribery and fraud charges, has laid out in his
affidavit his version of his three-decade history with Mr.
Mulroney, as well as a series of meetings with his associates,
such as Mr. Doucet. It was filed as part of his on-going lawsuit
against Mr. Mulroney, which alleges that Mr. Mulroney did no
work in return for the $300,000 payment. Mr. Mulroney's lawyer
Kenneth Prehogan has called the lawsuit "merit-less."
It is the first time that anyone with
inside knowledge of the controversial $1.8-billion sale of 34
Airbus aircraft to Air Canada has linked Mr. Mulroney to the
millions of dollars of secret commissions that flowed from the
sale. The allegation by Mr. Schreiber is similar to the
accusations that sparked Mr. Mulroney's 1995 lawsuit against the
government and resulted in the former prime minister receiving a
settlement of $2.1 million.
Mr. Schreiber does not name the Swiss
lawyer that was supposed to receive the funds, nor does he say
when Mr. Doucet allegedly asked for the funds to be sent — or
even if any money was in fact sent anywhere. There are 23
exhibits attached to his 12-page affidavit and none of them are
related to Mr. Schreiber's allegation that Mr. Doucet wanted Mr.
Mulroney to receive Airbus commissions through a Swiss lawyer.
In 1995, the RCMP launched a criminal
investigation into the Airbus sale after it was revealed that
there was a secret commission deal between the European
manufacturer and a shell company connected to Mr. Schreiber.
As a result of that secret contract,
millions of dollars flowed from Airbus to Swiss bank accounts
controlled by Mr. Schreiber not long after the board of
directors of Air Canada approved the purchase of the airplanes.
It's never been shown, and Mr. Schreiber
has never said, what work he did to earn those commissions. In
recent media interviews he has said that one of the recipients
of the secret commissions was Frank Moores, a former
Conservative premier of Newfoundland who at the time of the
airplane sale was chairman of the lobby firm Government
Consultants International, or GCI.
Mr. Moores, whose company lobbied on
behalf of Airbus, died in 2005.
As part of the RCMP's investigation into
the Airbus sale, the Mounties sent a letter to the government of
Switzerland asking for access to Mr. Schreiber's bank records.
In the letter, the Mounties alleged that Mr. Schreiber, Mr.
Moores and Mr. Mulroney had conspired to defraud Canadians on
Mr. Mulroney sued the RCMP and the
federal government over the letter, alleging that it had damaged
his reputation and that he had nothing to do with the sale. As
part of his lawsuit, he testified in an examination for
discovery proceeding, and said under oath, that "at no time
directly or indirectly [did] myself or members of my government
[seek] to influence the choice of Airbus."
Mr. Mulroney's spokesman, Mr. Lavoie,
reiterated that point in an interview, Thursday. "I know that to
be false — that Mulroney had anything to do with the Airbus
transaction, and any money flowing from it," Mr. Lavoie said.
Mr. Lavoie also said that Mr. Mulroney
has never had a Geneva lawyer.
When asked what Mr. Schreiber and Mr.
Mulroney discussed in Zurich, which is where Mr. Schreiber says
he advised Mr. Mulroney of the alleged intention to transfer
funds, Mr. Lavoie said: "I don't know that I would like to
comment on this because it was his private business. It was his
private dealing. It's a one-on-one meeting that took place while
he was in Zurich for other businesses. And whatever was said — I
don't know the details of what was said, I don't know exactly
what was said — but, you know, it's his private business."
Since Mr. Mulroney's $2.1-million
settlement, it has come to light that there was much more to the
former prime minister's relationship with Mr. Schreiber than he
chose to reveal at the time.
Between 1993 and 1994, shortly after Mr.
Mulroney left office, he accepted $300,000 in cash from Mr.
Schreiber over three meetings in hotels in New York and Montreal
— a fact that was never revealed during his lawsuit.
Mr. Schreiber has said that he hired Mr.
Mulroney to help him establish a Canadian light-armoured-vehicle
factory for his German client, Thyssen AG. He has also said that
the former prime minister was supposed to promote his pasta
business and restaurant franchise.
Last week, The Globe and Mail and CBC
reported that Mr. Mulroney did not pay taxes on the $300,000 in
the years that he received the cash. Instead, years later, the
former prime minister filed a voluntary tax disclosure, an
option that Canada Revenue Agency offers to taxpayers who have
filed inaccurate tax returns and later decide to declare
Both news media outlets also reported a
series of private phone calls between the lawyers acting for
both Mr. Mulroney and Mr. Schreiber after a CBC journalist
obtained Mr. Schreiber's bank records and started looking
further into the still-secret cash payments. According to a
memorandum written by Mr. Schreiber's Alberta lawyer, on Oct.
17, 1999, Mr. Mulroney asked for some sort of written assurance
from Mr. Schreiber concerning the cash payments.
In Mr. Schreiber's affidavit filed
yesterday, he has stated that those discussions continued into
the Christmas season of 1999 and early 2000, years after Mr.
Mulroney received the three cash payments. Two of those meetings
involved Mr. Doucet, the affidavit states.
According to the affidavit, Mr.
Schreiber met with Mr. Doucet at Mr. Doucet's home in Ottawa
some time during Christmas. Shortly after that, Mr. Doucet asked
Mr. Schreiber to meet again and asked him to sign a document
that would confirm the terms of his $300,000 agreement with Mr.
Mulroney, the affidavit states.
The document, which is included in Mr.
Schreiber's court filings, isn't dated or signed. It is titled
"Mandate" and lists services, presumably to be performed by Mr.
Mulroney: "Travelling abroad to meet with government and private
sector leaders to assist in opening new markets for our products
and to report regularly to us in this regard. In this context,
priority should be given to opportunities relating to Canadian
based manufacturing of peace keeping and/or peace making
military equipment in view of Canada's prominence in this area."
At the bottom of the contract it states,
"The Mandate will be for a period of three years." The fee that
was supposed to be listed has been left blank.