What Mathias seems to know is mostly false. It is a much larger story. The money came to BRITAN. This money was not for me. I know who BRITAN was. Now there is a big story for you. For the moment it is not relevant to my role, but I know I wasn’t BRITAN, and I know who BRITAN was…
I will tell you at an appropriate time about BRITAN. It is not immediately germane to the thing we are talking about but I can tell you that [it] is mind-boggling. It is f***ing mind-boggling.
— Brian Mulroney, interviewed by William Kaplan on October 4, 2003, entered in evidence in support of Kaplan’s testimony to the Oliphant inquiry. Mulroney was trying to convince him not to report on his dealings with Karlheinz Schreiber, prior to the story’s eventual publication in the Globe and Mail on November 10, 2003. “Mathias” is the reporter Phil Mathias, from whom Kaplan had first learned of the cash payments in March of ’01.
POSTSCRIPT: As it turned out, BRITAN was Mulroney — or at least, the Navigant team of forensic accountants believe it is highly likely it was. Their report to the Oliphant inquiry said the evidence supports a “strong inference” that the money in the BRITAN account was (mostly) Airbus money. And while it’s impossible to state with certainty where the cash Mulroney was paid came from, the report notes the withdrawal dates match closely with the dates the three payments were made, as do the amounts (in Schreiber’s version). Which, of course, doesn’t prove Mulroney knew anything etc.
But maybe the forensics have it wrong. If so — and if Mulroney knows who BRITAN was really for — wouldn’t now be the “appropriate time” to tell us?