“This … has blown the whole Airbus affair wide open”


It seems Fred Doucet has some ‘splaining to do…

Secret Airbus connection revealed: Documents show former Mulroney aide involved in airplane sale

Fred Doucet, Brian Mulroney’s former chief of staff, received a list from Air Canada detailing how many Airbus aircraft had been delivered to the airline in the early 1990s, contradicting Mr. Doucet’s sworn testimony that he has “no knowledge at all about anything involving Airbus.”

The fax, as well as three letters written by Mr. Doucet, are the first indication that someone in Mr. Mulroney’s inner circle expressed interest in the airplane sale before it erupted as a public scandal.

The airplane delivery schedule received by Mr. Doucet outlines how many Airbus A320s were delivered to Air Canada between 1990 and 1993. The date stamp indicates the former prime ministerial aide received the fax on Aug. 27, 1993, at 3:50 p.m.

At that time, Karlheinz Schreiber was sitting in the back of a limousine on his way to Quebec’s Mirabel airport to meet Mr. Mulroney and pay him at least $75,000 in cash – a meeting that Mr. Doucet has previously acknowledged he arranged. That payment, as well as two other cash payments Mr. Schreiber made to the former prime minister shortly after he left office, are the focus of a coming public inquiry.

The fax, as well as three previously undisclosed letters written by Mr. Doucet, were supplied to The Globe and Mail and CBC’s the fifth estate by Mr. Schreiber. The letters, which were written between 1992 and 1994, make a number of references to the airplanes, and in one instance Mr. Doucet uses a code word, “The Birds,” to describe the jetliners.

“Should the documents prove to be genuine, this new evidence has blown the whole Airbus affair wide open,” said Paul Szabo, a Liberal MP and the former chair of the House of Commons ethics committee, which last year launched a probe of the cash payments accepted by Mr. Mulroney.

After reviewing the documents for the first time last night, Mr. Szabo said he will consult with parliamentary lawyers because the material “raises questions of contempt of Parliament.”

Mulroney confidant knew about Airbus commissions: CBC

A CBC News investigation has learned that on the same day Mulroney received his first envelope of cash from German-Canadian businessman Karlheinz Schreiber at a hotel in Mirabel airport, Doucet, who had arranged the meeting between the two men, received a fax from Air Canada outlining the delivery schedule of Airbus airplanes to Air Canada.

The Aug. 27, 1993, fax from Air Canada’s manager of investor relations, Denis Biro, itemized the delivery of 34 Airbus planes between 1990 and 1993.

That was important to Doucet because he was interested in determining how much money was left in the secret 1988 deal between Airbus Industrie and a Liechtenstein shell company, International Aircraft Leasing, or IAL.

The fax and other documents that Schreiber has provided to CBC News and the upcoming Oliphant Commission looking into the financial dealings between Schreiber and Mulroney appear to contradict Doucet’s testimony before the ethics committee.

In fact, letters and correspondence among Schreiber, Doucet, and lobbyist and former Newfoundland premier Frank Moores reveal that Doucet was involved in an in-depth effort to determine how much money was available from the Airbus deal.

NOTE TO THE PRESS GALLERY: Still think there’s no story here?


“This … has blown the whole Airbus affair wide open”

  1. Did Schreiber withhold this information during the hearings in order that Doucet would get caught in a lie? It looks like Schreiber is playing a shrewd game…

  2. Why, exactly, are we hearing about this today, of all days?

  3. Someone trying to bury it perhaps?

  4. 5th Estate is showing it, so it’s in the news.

  5. It’s been scheduled for some time — long before the present madness. Put away the tinfoil hats.

  6. But it does explain the timing of a shitstorm nobody, conservative or liberal, can fathom.

  7. I knew you wouldn’t disappoint!

  8. With that context given, I can put away the hat. Of course, now I’m left wondering what actually is being buried in this media storm.

    So is there any chance at all that Mulroney might be actually brought up on charges?

  9. It’s being brought out now as a public service to unite the nation around our revile for Brian Mulroney.

  10. I don’t think I own a tinfoil hat, actually. It’s just kind of funny (in the ha-ha sense, mostly) that this story has unfolded so slowly over the last 15 years, and keeps cropping up at the most unlikely moments. Like a strange subplot in Dickens, or something.

  11. I look forward to Pat Martin’s response.

  12. Will Schrieber be getting on the stand to authenticate all the documents?

    If so, it shouldn’t be too hard for a second-year law student to impugn his testimony. “Mr. Schriber, who is Ludwig-Holger Pfahls?”

  13. It must be Christmas, Airbus is back in the news.

  14. Just read Ed Broadbent’s interiew where he talks of former Tory leaders who wouldn’t tell an outright lie. He named Stanfield and Clark. Then he stopped.

  15. It will be interesting to see whether the Oliphant Commission considers Airbus commissions to be within its terms of reference.

  16. It looks like a couple of people will be in some serious doo-doo. I doubt it will do much to get closer to Mulroney, but Doucet and the other fellow could be regrettin’ things.

  17. “It’s been scheduled for some time — long before the present madness. Put away the tinfoil hats.”

    So has the present madness. According to some anyways.

    In any case, I hope it reminds people that changing one group of sleazy and opportunistic hacks for another group of the same sort seldom has a notably positive affect on one’s standard of living. Business as usual, I’d say.

  18. Why would Fred Doucet and Mulroney be so interesting in the sales figures, unless they were getting commissions based on sales? Regardless both, especially Fred have been caught in their lies and likely perjury. Mulroney could make history by being the first ex PM and a convicted felon. But first we need RCMP to re-open their investigation. Whatever Johnson’s qualifications may be he did not make a sound judgement, as Andrew had previously stated, in drafting his Terms of Reference for the inquiry.

  19. Bribing to get contracts

    To understand how Siemens, one of the world’s biggest companies, last week ended up paying $1.6 billion in the largest fine for bribery in modern corporate history, it’s worth delving into Mr. Siekaczek’s unusual journey.

    A former midlevel executive at Siemens, he was one of several people who arranged a torrent of payments that eventually streamed to well-placed officials around the globe, from Vietnam to Venezuela and from Italy to Israel, according to interviews with Mr. Siekaczek and court records in Germany and the United States.

    What is striking about Mr. Siekaczek’s and prosecutors’ accounts of those dealings, which flowed through a web of secret bank accounts and shadowy consultants, is how entrenched corruption had become at a sprawling, sophisticated corporation that externally embraced the nostrums of a transparent global marketplace built on legitimate transactions.

    Mr. Siekaczek (pronounced SEE-kah-chek) says that from 2002 to 2006 he oversaw an annual bribery budget of about $40 million to $50 million at Siemens. Company managers and sales staff used the slush fund to cozy up to corrupt government officials worldwide.

    Editor’s Note: This reporting is the result of a joint investigation of international bribery by PBS FRONTLINE, ProPublica and the Investigative Reporting Program at UC Berkeley. A documentary will air on FRONTLINE on April 7, 2009 at 9 P.M. ET on PBS. Check back on this website beginning January 2009 for a series of investigative reports and in-depth features on international corruption.

    This story was published by The New York Times on Sunday, Dec. 21, 2008.

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