Mr. Dion warned that if Mr. Schreiber is
sent to Germany, there's no guarantee that he'll be able to
answer Canadian queries, even if he wanted to. The businessman
has already said he won't co-operate with Canadian officials if
he's kicked out of the country.
Mr. Schreiber faces bribery, fraud and
tax-evasion charges in Germany and has been linked to a
political scandal in that country.
The government in Berlin first asked for
his extradition in 1999 as investigators looked into allegation
a high-ranking official in former chancellor Helmut Kohl's
government accepted 1 million marks from Schreiber in another
He claims to have handed over $300,000
to Brian Mulroney in a business transaction that was arranged
just as the former prime minister was about to leave office in
Although he never denied taking the
money, Mr. Mulroney has insisted the arrangement was made after
he left office and was a private business matter.
A spokesman for the former prime
minister said this week that the first of three $100,000
payments was given while Mulroney was still a Quebec MP.
The Conservative government has so far
refused to postpone Mr. Schreiber's extradition, which could
happen next Saturday. He is being held in a Toronto-area
Mr. Dion said Prime Minister Stephen
Harper has tried to make it look like there's been a public
break with Mr. Mulroney, by ordering the inquiry and telling
senior members of the government not to talk to the former prime
However by not arranging for Mr.
Schreiber to stay, Mr. Dion said, the government is quietly
trying to sabotage the investigation.
“Mr. Harper may again be trying to
protect Mr. Mulroney,” he said.
The Commons ethics committee says it
will call Mr. Schreiber as a witness, but in a press release
late Friday, the man at the centre of the political storm said
the government has made no provision for bail and there has been
no indication how he would get to Ottawa.
Although the committee can compel a
witness to testify, it has no control over whether the
individual gets bail.
In his statement, Mr. Schreiber
suggested the Conservative government was in a hurry to bundle
him out of the country.
“There is no rush,” he wrote. “I welcome
the opportunity to speak before the public inquiry and the
Commons ethics committee.”