Questions someone really ought to ask Schreiber

Today is Karlheinz Schreiber’s fourth and possibly final day of testimony before the Commons Ethics Committee. Perhaps members of the committee will get around to asking the following...

1. You have claimed to have contributed $25,000 to Brian Mulroney’s leadership campaign as long ago as 1976. Is there any record of this? If not, why not? Was it in cash? Was the candidate aware of your contribution? Did you discuss it with him personally? Was he the only candidate you contributed to? Why did he merit your support? What did you hope to gain by it?
2. In the late 1970s, you hired or otherwise sponsored a number of ministers in the Alberta provincial government, current and former, including a loan of $150,000 to the late Hugh Horner, then the deputy minister, that was never fully paid back. What were your objectives in this? Was the sale of Airbus aircraft to Pacific Western Airlines, then government-owned, one of them?
3. During a 1981 public inquiry into your land dealings in the Edmonton area, in which you allegedly profited, via your connections, from cabinet confidences, you said you saw nothing wrong with hiring former cabinet ministers to advance your interests with the governments in which they had just served. Indeed you said you planned to hire “more cabinet ministers in the near future from other provinces.” Which other former cabinet ministers did you hire?
4. In 1982, you invested, along with Franz Josef Strauss, the premier of Bavaria and chairman of Airbus Industrie, $369,000 in a Newfoundland property owned by Frank Moores, the former premier of Newfoundland and fundraiser for a group of Mulroney supporters who were seeking to unseat the Conservative leader, Joe Clark. What was that money used for?
5. Describe your involvement in paying for anti-Clark delegates from Quebec to attend the leadership review conference in Winnipeg in 1983. Why did you do this? Was Mr. Mulroney aware of your assistance? When did he learn of it?
6. Did you contribute to Mr. Mulroney’s leadership campaign in 1983? Did you contribute to his own or the party’s campaign in 1984? If so, how much and in what form — cash or other? Is there any record of this? Was Mr. Mulroney aware of it?
7. Describe how the Airbus deal worked. Why did Airbus agree to pay commissions to your company, International Aircraft Leasing, on the sale of planes to Air Canada, when the payment of such commissions was prohibited under the terms of the contract? Why did Airbus need your help? What services were you expected to perform? What services did you perform? What was Frank Moores’s involvement in the deal?
8. The same questions, with regard to the sale of helicopters to the Coast Guard, for which you were secretly paid commissions by Messerschmidt-Bolkow-Bohm.
9. The same questions, with regard to the funding of the Bear Head project to build light armoured vehicles in Canada, for which you were secretly paid a “success fee” by Thyssen Industrie.
10. Your bank records indicate that you were paid nearly $20-million in commissions on the Airbus deal, $4-million on the Bear Head project, and $1-million on the helicopter deal. What did you do with the money? How much went to Frank Moores and his company Government Consultants International? Where did the rest of it go? Your bank records indicate half of it was distributed in Canada. Your German lawyer has testified in Canadian court that it was used to pay Canadians. Who?
11. In 1999, you were a fugitive from German justice, living in Switzerland. You are a Canadian citizen. You are worth millions. Why, then, did Elmer MacKay come all the way to Switzerland to bring you to Canada? Why did he buy your airline ticket? Is the timing, one day after the arrest of two Thyssen Industrie executives with whom you had conspired to bribe German politicians, a coincidence?
12. After your arrest in Canada in 1999, Marc Lalonde and Elmer MacKay each agreed to put up $100,000 to bail you out of jail. On your release, you made this statement in front of the television cameras: “It is, I think, a great pleasure to have friends. I have always had friends in my life. And I will never let a friend down. So they came here to get me out. I will never do anything to harm them.” What did you mean by that last sentence?

Looking for more?

Get the Best of Maclean's sent straight to your inbox. Sign up for news, commentary and analysis.