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The cash payments Brian Mulroney received from Schreiber in 1993 and 1994 came from a bank account in Zurich with the code-name BRITAN.
Schreiber confirmed the money came from the BRITAN account in an interview with fifth estate reporter Linden MacIntyre.
Linden MacIntyre: There had been speculation about a special account…called BRITAN...and that money was withdrawn from that account."
Karlheinz Schreiber: Correct ... There were five hundred thousand sitting, and from there he got 300.
Linden MacIntyre: So I draw the conclusion that money came out of BRITAN.
Karlheinz Schreiber: Yeah, sure.
Linden MacIntyre: And then to Brian Mulroney.
Karlheinz Schreiber: Sure.
That money in turn came from a Liechtenstein company called IAL or International Aircraft Leasing. IAL held the proceeds of secret commissions from Airbus Industrie and received funds from Thyssen Industries connected to a planned, though never built, armoured vehicle factory in Cape Breton.
The BRITAN account was activated on July 26, 1993 when $500,000 was transferred to it from the FRANKFURT account. The next day $100,000 was withdrawn from it. A second $100,000 was taken from the account on November 3, 1993.
On July 21, 1994 $50,000 was withdrawn from the BRITAN account. The last withdrawal from the account was also for $50,000 and came out on November 21, 1994.
Schreiber says he gave Mulroney the money after being approached
by former Mulroney Chief of Staff Fred Doucet. According to Schreiber,
Doucet told him Mulroney was not financially well-off and needed
some help. Schreiber was more than happy to be of assistance.
"At no time during Mr. Mulroney's term in office did any person meeting him raise, discuss or allude to any financial arrangement or benefit to apply then or following his resignation. Any such suggestion would have resulted in the immediate termination of the meeting and an urgent report by the Prime Minister to the police."
The fifth estate sent a letter to Mulroney on February 22, 2005 requesting "an interview with you to address what that money was in exchange for, what work was done for the money, and when and how the money was received."
Former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney failed to respond to requests for an interview by the fifth estate about the $300,000 given to him by Schreiber after he stepped down as Prime Minister.
There have been a number of different explanations given for the cash payments, made in 1993 and 1994 in hotels in Montreal and New York.
"Mulroney apparently declined to comment for the story, as did
his lawyers," Kaplan wrote. "However, Mathias did get
to speak to a "Mulroney confidant" who told him that "the
former prime minister earned the fee in full" by performing services
for Schreiber after the fee was paid. The Post was not told the nature
of the work or when it was done. Asked why Mulroney had not made this
matter public sooner, the confidant replied that Mulroney was fearful
of creating a false impression in the middle of what he described
as "a witch hunt over the so-called Airbus affair."
Kaplan, a lawyer and author of two books on the Airbus affair, broke the story about the payments when the National Post did not run Mathias' expose. He says he's heard Schreiber give a number of different reasons why he gave Mulroney the cash.
"He says that he wanted to help Mulroney out because Mulroney was poor and needed money," says Kaplan. "Explanation number two is he wanted to thank Mulroney for freeing 17 million Germans from a Communist jail, referring to Mulroney's attempts to take down the Berlin Wall."
"The interesting thing is when you ask Schreiber what Mulroney did for the money, his first explanation is nothing and his second explanation is…it occurs to him that Mulroney may have written a letter for him." (read more of Kaplan's interview with the fifth estate)
"Being hired as an international adviser after he left office was entirely consistent with the practice he was setting out to establish."
Pat MacAdam, a former advisor to Mulroney and long time friend, faxed a letter to William Kaplan in the summer of 2004, offering what he knew about the payments. (see the letter .pdf file)
"Karlheinz hired Mulroney to sell Bearhead armoured vehicles," wrote MacAdam. "The vehicles were/are top of the line."
Besides selling military hardware to the Chinese, Mulroney was involved with Schreiber's pasta business.
"Schreiber also engaged Mulroney to explore the sale of pasta machines," wrote MacAdam. "The machines required a special kind of wheat and Schreiber thought that this would be right up the alley of Archer, Daniel, Midland. Mulroney was a consultant to ADM."
MacAdam disputes that Mulroney got $300,000 in cash. He wrote the total was actually $225,000.
Mulroney friend William Thorsell, the former editor of the Globe and Mail, says he spoke to the former prime minister and asked what the money for.
"It was the usual door-opening representation thing that happens to a lot of these people in law firms," says Thorsell.
"Believe it or not this pasta machine business was going to be a big one," says Thorsell. "Apparently it was a very good pasta machine. And he wanted to get it into McDonald's restaurants. He thought that would be a great thing because there is a big market and that's a new line for McDonald's."Thorsell says Mulroney was also hired to help with a Schreiber business venture in China, but doesn't know exactly what that was about.
"Obviously this is not quite my business," says Lalonde, "I'm sure he would have told me that was none of my business."
"Mr. Mulroney, knowing from Mr. Kaplan's inquiries what was coming, called me before the payment story ran and beseeched me not to publish what he characterized as an unsubstantiated assertion that would perpetuate the false accusations he feels he has endured," wrote Greenspon.
"He even said he could give us a better story if we suppressed
the one about the $300,000 dealing with Mr. Schreiber. We wouldn't
Mulroney told William Kaplan that his dealings were clean. "I can also tell you that I have declared every cent that I have ever received and I have paid all income tax on all monies owing."
"My affairs have been above board and proper, and I am not concerned about any of the legal implications whatsoever."
According to Kaplan, Mulroney warned him, "anyone who says anything about that, will be in one fuck of a fight."