Mr. Doucet gets his counsel
Fred Doucet may not be a household name any more. But back in the day, well, in the 1980s, he was certainly well known on Parliament Hill.
Doucet was then prime minister Brian Mulroney's chief of staff and a very senior political adviser. After that, he became one of Ottawa's top lobbyists.
Then along came Karlheinz Schreiber, the German-born, international deal-maker.
Schreiber alleges that it was Doucet who requested cash transfers be made to Mulroney, while he was still in office, through a lawyer in Geneva.
Doucet denies all of it. In fact, Doucet and Schreiber disagree on most things.
So, not surprising then that Doucet will be a key player in the judicial inquiry to examine the financial dealings between the former PM and Schreiber.
Judge Jeffrey Oliphant, the Manitoba justice who will be conducting the inquiry, agrees. That is why he has decided the commission will cover Doucet's legal fees.
Doucet argued that with failing health and retirement investments that are uncertain given the state of the economy, he needs a little financial help to cover costs.
Oliphant says Doucet's testimony will be "necessary and involved" and so the commission will pick up the tab for 100 hours of Doucet's lawyer to be present in the hearing and 50 hours of preparation time.
The commission will also cover reasonable travel costs.
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