On July 28, 2009 file, German-Canadian businessman Karlheinz Schreiber watches the proceedings during the final day of the Oliphant Commission at the University of Ottawa in Ottawa, Canada.
Karlheinz Schreiber was whisked onto an overnight flight by RCMP officers Sunday night after an Ontario Superior Court Judge dismissed his last-gasp court challenge to delay his extradition to Germany.
At about 7:45 p.m., about three hours after the 75-year-old lobbyist turned himself in at a Toronto area jail, he called his wife from a cellphone belonging to one of the Mounties.
“He couldn’t speak long. He only said to me he is on the plane and I should be not worried,” his wife, Barbel Schreiber, said Sunday night.
The red-eye flight back to his native country came only a few hours after he lost an emergency application for a court injunction Sunday to block his extradition.
The weekend hearing in the near-empty Toronto courthouse was negotiated by Mr. Schreiber’s legal team after the federal justice department told the German-Canadian at 5 p.m. on Friday that he had 48 hours to surrender to the authorities.
At the emergency hearing, Mr. Greenspan accused the federal government of using underhanded tactics – exploiting the holiday weekend to ensure that no courts would be open to accept another one of Mr. Schreiber’s frequent court challenges before he was on the tarmac.
Madame Justice Barbara Conway, however, sided with the federal government, ruling that Mr. Schreiber has not met the basic tests that are required for such an injunction.
“Mr. Schreiber has travelled a long road in fighting his extradition to Germany. He is now at the end of that road,” Judge Conway said Sunday.
After the hearing, Mr. Greenspan said he was confident that Mr. Schreiber had bought himself a little more time with one final move. When Mr. Schreiber walked into the Toronto West Detention Centre – just a few blocks from Pearson airport – the first thing he did was serve the director of the jail with an application for a judicial review of the Justice Minister’s latest decision to not overturn his extradition, Mr. Greenspan said. Under a provision of the Criminal Appeal Rules, inmates can serve jail officials with applications, Mr. Greenspan said.
“It acts as a stay before he can be extradited,” Mr. Greenspan said, a few hours before his client was shepherded onto the airplane. Playing on Judge Conway’s road metaphor, the veteran criminal defence lawyer added: “He’s at the end of the paved road. Now he’s on the dirt road.”
Mr. Schreiber was somewhat defiant when he spoke briefly with reporters as he approached the jail Sunday afternoon. “I don’t think it’s my last chance,” he said of the judge’s decision.
It’s been almost a decade since Mr. Schreiber was arrested at a Toronto hotel at the request of Germany, where he ignited a scandal that ruined political careers and sent others to jail. The professional middleman, who has brokered deals for tanks, helicopters and airplanes around the world – Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Canada – dominated headlines and newscasts in the German media in the 1990s when it was revealed that he made payments, sometimes in cash, to high-profile German political figures. Former German junior defence minister, Ludwig-Holger Pfahls, fled the country over payments he accepted from Mr. Schreiber, but was arrested in Paris and later convicted. When it emerged that Mr. Schreiber handed a briefcase containing more than one million deutschmarks to the treasurer of former Chancellor Helmut Kohl’s party, it exposed secret slush funds designated for the ruling Christian Democratic Union.
The last time Mr. Schreiber was behind the brick walls of the Toronto area jail, he resurrected one of the most complex scandals in recent Canadian political history – the Airbus affair – and extended his stay in his adopted country.
Shortly after he surrendered to the jail in 2007, he filed an affidavit in court that detailed the cash payments he made to former prime minister Brian Mulroney as well as a little-known hotel meeting between the two men in Zurich in 1998.
The day after he filed the affidavit, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced that he was assigning an independent, investigator to review the allegations. That review led to the recently wrapped up Oliphant inquiry into the cash that Mr. Schreiber gave to Mr. Mulroney, but not the deal that earned Mr. Schreiber most of his riches – the 1988 purchase of $1.8-billion in Airbus planes by then-Crown corporation Air Canada.
During his brief, rambling interview outside the courthouse, Mr. Schreiber complained about the inquiry’s exclusion of anything related to the Airbus sale. “The elephant is still in the room,” he said, adding that the Oliphant inquiry looked at only “a small piece.”
Mr. Justice Jeffrey Oliphant, who chaired the inquiry, has until Dec. 31 to issue his report.
Standing outside Toronto’s main criminal courthouse after the judge issued her verdict, Mr. Greenspan reflected on his long ride with Mr. Schreiber.
He looked back at the courthouse, and explained that it was at 361 University Avenue where he first met the boisterous and aggressive deal maker at his first bail hearing.
“Politicians who spent time with him over the years are proof positive that he was not a difficult person to be with. He was entertaining, funny, intelligent,” the defence lawyer said.
“Whatever else there was that went on between him and some of the politicians, the fact of the matter is that he had access to the corridors of power that I don’t have.”
The justice department painted a much different picture in its submission in court, however, underscoring Mr. Schreiber’s manipulation of the court to stay in Canada.
Mr. Kramer said the German-Canadian has made 11 submissions to the minister of justice, five applications for judicial review at the Ontario Court of Appeal, and sought leave to the Supreme Court on four occasions – all of which have been denied but had the effect of extending his stay.
“If Mr. Schreiber has lacked anything in his extradition, it is not access to procedural fairness,” Mr. Kramer said.
Full article: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/schreiber-extradited-to-germany/article1239414/
Figure in CDU Party Donations Scandal Returns to Germany
Canadian officials have deported former German industry lobbyist Karlheinz Schreiber, who sought to evade prosecutors in Germany for a decade. He was at the center of one of Germany’s biggest postwar political scandals and will likely face trial on multiple charges.
The plane from Toronto arrived in Munich at 9:22 a.m. on Monday. Two police vans and three unmarked vehicles awaited the arrival. Their quarry: Karlheinz Schreiber, the infamous 75-year-old former arms lobbyist with dual Canadian-German citizenship, who had been at the center of Germany’s biggest postwar political scandal.
After the other passengers had disembarked, police escorted Schreiber to one of the waiting cars. He was taken straight to Augsburg, Bavaria, where a cell measuring nine square meters awaits the businessman who had allegedly made millions acting as a go-between for industry giants and top politicians in both Germany and Canada.
Proceedings against Schreiber, who had exhausted every legal option to escape extradition to his homeland, will begin either later on Monday or first thing on Tuesday. Schreiber is wanted for tax evasion, bribery and fraud. According to the Augsburg prosecutor’s office, Schreiber made around €15 million after he did work on behalf of German industrial giant Thyssen Krupp AG in several arms projects.
A Million Deutsche Marks In The Carpark
The accusations against the businessman also have a hefty political dimension. Schreiber was a key figure in the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) donations scandal that rocked Germany’s parliament in the 1990s, cost Wolfgang Schäuble, then the chairman of the party, his job and disgraced former Chancellor Helmut Kohl, who lost his position as honorary party chairman.Allegations that Schreiber had donated cash to Walther Leisler Kiep, the former treasurer of the CDU, started a scandal that only got worse when Kohl, who was in power from 1982 to 1998, admitted that he had accepted off-the-books — and therefore, illegal — donations from supporters.
From the mid-80s through to 1995, Schreiber is accused of transferring money to various German and Canadian businessmen and politicians using a network of Swiss bank accounts. He is alleged to have handed a donation of one million deutsche marks to Kiep in a supermarket parking lot on August 26, 1991. The donation allegedly came in the form of thousand mark banknotes stuffed into a suitcase. Former defense ministy official Holger Pfahls also received 3.8 million marks for his help in securing a Saudi Arabian deal involving armored vehicles. When the scandal broke, Pfahls fled, but he was eventually arrested in Paris and convicted.
A Temporary Safe Haven in Canada
Schreiber fled to Canada in 1999, and prosecutors in Germany have attempted to extradite him since August of that year. In the ensuing decade, Schreiber used every legal weapon to remain in Canada.
But on Friday evening, Canadian television channel CTV reported, representatives from Canada’s justice department paid a surprise visit to Schreiber and told him that he would be taken into custody within 48 hours, pending deportation to Germany. Schreiber then applied for an emergency hearing during the weekend, in order to obtain an injunction.
Justice Department lawyer Richard Kramer told the Toronto-based daily Globe and Mail that Schreiber had already exhausted all remaining opportunities to appeal his deportation. “If Mr. Schreiber has lacked anything in his extradition, it is not access to procedural fairness,” Kramer said, according to the newspaper.
In ruling against him this time, Ontario Superior Court Justice Barbara Ann Conway told news agencies Schreiber “has travelled a long road in fighting his extradition to Germany. He is now at the end of that road.”
Schreiber: Politics Will Prejudice Any Trial
Upon reaching the jail on Sunday evening, Schreiber held a hurried, impromptu press conference with waiting reporters. He told them that he believed the decision to extradite him now was a political one. He has said as much previously in a letter to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, which was also sent to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, a member of the CDU and Kohl’s former protege, and to German newspaper Der Tagesspiegel. In the letter he said he feared he would not receive a fair trial in Germany due to political prejudice against him.
“We have an election coming up in Germany in September,” he told gathered reporters on Sunday night. “The Social Democrats won three elections with my case in the past. Now you can read about it in the paper. If I would come now that would be the greatest thing. It would start a huge circus and investigation and Chancellor Kohl and everybody would be there. And with that they would think they could win the next election.”
However, Canadian Justice Minister Rob Nicholson noted that the extradition was based on an order issued against Schreiber on Oct. 31, 2004 by Nicholson’s predecessor, Irwin Cotler. Last Thursday, his department had received a fax in which German Justice Minister Brigitte Zypries — a member of the CDU’s government coalition partner, the Social Democrats (SPD) — urged that he consent to German extradition requests so that “the proceedings against Schreiber can finally be carried out.”
There have been other reasons for Schreiber’s ongoing stay in Canada. The former lobbyist has also been part of a Canadian political scandal. Schreiber claims that the former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney accepted money from him — 225,000 Canadian dollars – in exchange for promoting a light armoured vehicle factory on behalf of Thyssen Krupp. Mulroney says the deal was struck after he left office, but Schreiber says it happened while Mulroney was still in power — which would breach Canadian rules about ethics.
A Prisoner Just Like Any Other
There has been an official commission of enquiry into the matter and Nicholson had agreed to a stay of extradition in 2007 so Schreiber could testify before the public inquiry. Schreiber had said he would not cooperate with the enquiry unless he was allowed to stay, and Bavarian prosecutors agreed to abide by Canadian decisions in this regard. But the final hearing took place last Tuesday and conclusions will be published by the end of the year. That development left the path clear for a surprise visit from Canadian Justice Department officials on Friday evening.
For the next few days, his home will be a nine square meter cell. “He will be treated the same as any other prisoner awaiting trial,” the head of the Augsburg prison told the German press agency DPA. He can have two half-hour visits a month, he will have a daily hour of exercise in the prison yard. And if he wants a television in his cell, he will have to pay for it himself.
It’s the same sort of cell that the ex-defense secretary Holger Pfahls also had when he was awaiting trail on charges in the corruption scandal, in which Schreiber allegedly played such an integral part.
Full article: http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518,640052,00.html