Mulroney won't appear before committee: lawyer
Published Tuesday, February 26, 2008 7:25PM EST
Former prime minister Brian Mulroney will not return to the House of Commons ethics committee, his counsel confirmed Tuesday, officially declining a request from chairman Paul Szabo.
No reason was given for the decision, but Guy Pratte, Mulroney's lawyer, said he would be giving a detailed response to Szabo on Wednesday.
Szabo had requested Mulroney make another appearance before the committee on Thursday, to answer more questions about his business dealings with German-born arms dealer Karlheinz Schreiber.
On Monday, Schreiber repeated claims that he gave Mulroney $300,000, expecting him to lobby the Canadian government to buy light-armoured vehicles. He said Mulroney never did any work.
Mulroney has said he was only given $225,000, and that he asked international leaders -- including the late Russian president Boris Yeltsin -- to buy the equipment.
Despite his refusal to testify in front of the committee again, Mulroney has said he's willing to participate in a full inquiry on the matter.
After Schreiber's testimony on Monday, a website devoted to defending Mulroney in the affair, Brian Mulroney Media Room, posted an angry response to the businessman's claims.
"Key to his endless game of hide and seek with journalists and the justice system has been Mr. Schreiber's claim to possess mountains of damning evidence related to each of his improbable allegations," the website said. "But when challenged, his evidence is never revealed."
Schreiber may not appear before the committee again. He's currently fighting extradition to his native country on fraud and tax evasion charges.