Karlheinz Schreiber arrives at Ontario Superior Court in Toronto on Friday, March 12, 2004. He is wanted in Germany on charges of tax evasion, bribery and fraud. ((Aaron Harris/Canadian Press))

Karlheinz Schreiber is one step closer to being sent back to Germany after the Supreme Court of Canada Thursday dismissedthe German-Canadian's appeal to avoid extradition.

But the ruling does not mean Schreiber, who is wanted in Germanyon charges of bribery, tax evasion, fraud and breach of trust,will be deported immediately.

In 2004, the Ontario Superior Court ruled Schreiber could be extradited to Germany.

He appealed to the federal Justice Department, but in October 2004, Liberal Justice Minister Irwin Cotler ordered Schreiber deported.

The Ontario Court of Appeal in March 2006 rejected Schreiber's appeal, ordering him deported. He sought leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada.

On Dec. 14, Schreiber filed another application for a judicial review tothe justice minister. A decision on that application has yet to be made.

Arrested in 1999

RCMP arrested him in Toronto on Sept. 2, 1999, at the request of German authorities.

The German charges stem from a deal for the sale of German army tanks from arms manufacturer Thyssen AG to Saudi Arabia. German authorities allege that Saudi Arabia was defrauded in the course of that deal.

Schreiber denies the charges.

He was released on bail several days later after former Tory cabinet minister Elmer MacKay and former Liberal cabinet minister Marc Lalonde each offered $100,000 sureties.

Schreiber has argued his arrest in Canada was illegal because Germany's extradition treaty with Canada does not include allegations of tax crimes.

He has since lost a series of bids to remain in Canada.

Schreiber linked to Mulroney

Schreiber made headlineslastyear when he told CBC's The Fifth Estate that former prime minister Brian Mulroney received $300,000 after he left office from a secret Swiss bank account controlled by Schreiber.

Mulroney was strapped for cash at the time, Schreiber told The Fifth Estate's Linden MacIntyre.

In 1999, a spokesman for Mulroney denied any money was exchanged. But in 2003, Mulroney indirectly acknowledged he did receive money from Schreiber but as payment for his help in promoting Schreiber's pasta business.

Schreiber was also linked with the so-called Airbus affair, involving allegations of secret commissions in exchange for Air Canada's purchase of a large order of Airbus jets.

Mulroney subsequently sued for libel and, under oath, testified that he "never had any dealings" with Schreiber. Mulroney received a government apology and a $2-million settlement.