The Mulroney-Schreiber affair took an expected turn today, as Karlheinz Schreiber was granted a temorary stay of extradition, pending a Supreme Court decision on whether or not it will hear an appeal of his extradition to Germany.
Reportedly, he'll now be seeking bail.
The handling of Schreiber has essentially become a no-win situation for the government. Deport Schreiber immediately, and the opposition will complain that he's being suppressed. Allow him to stay, and he's apparently hell bent on monopolizing as much time in the Canadian courts as he possibly can.
Most ironically, however, Schreiber, who had promised incredible revelations regarding his relationship with Brian Mulroney has reportedly admitted that Mulroney did nothing criminal in the course of their relationship. Furthermore, he noted that Mulroney didn't lobby any government on Schreiber's behalf.
In fact, the greatest revelation he's offered to date is that he had arranged to pay Brian Mulroney as much as $500,000, but notes that he had only paid $300,000 by the time he decided that Mulroney wasn't holding up his side of the bargain.
Interestingly, a former Mulroney aid revealled that Mulroney instructed him to get cost analysis of Schreiber's Bear Head project done. The Schreiber-fronted Thyssen industries project would have built an arms factory in Nova Scotia.
When it turned out however, that the project -- which Mulroney had been promised wouldn't cost Canadian taxpayers a dime -- would have cost the government $100 million, Mulroney is said to have remarked, "In that case, the project is dead."
When was all this? 1990.
Certainly, it's impossible to applaud Mulroney's judgement in this regard. Privy Council clerk Paul Tellier had previously ejected Schreiber from his office. Alberta premier Peter Lougheed, in regards to another matter, had instructed his cabinet ministers to "have nothing to do with this guy."
While Mulroney's judgement in regards to his relationship with Schreiber is demonstarbly poor, it seems, to date, that is all Mulroney is guilty of.
Thus, we bring ourselves back to the ultimate perversity of the Schreiber-Mulroney affair. Schreiber admits that Mulroney is guilty of no crime. Yet, Canada is withholding Schreiber from Germany, where he has been charged with fraud, bribery, and tax evasion.
Karlheinz Schreiber is wasting Canada's time at the direct expense of our diplomatic relationship with Germany.
Enough is enough. While Schreiber's extradition may have been delayed, he certainly shouldn't be granted bail.
He should be reserved a seat on the next plane back to Germany.