Thursday, February 21, 2008

Lavoie testimony, Part V: Szabo lets fly with an awesome (near) curse-word

Former Mulroney Dep. Chief of Staff and PR flack Communications Director Luc Lavoie presented himself to the Commons Ethics committee on February 7. The following is NOT a transcript, so quote at your own risk ;) Time-stamps are approximate. To return to the beginning of this series, click here: Part I.

Szabo lets fly with an awesome (near) curse-word
Martin (NDP): you were instrumental in relieving Canadians of 2.1 mill, no matter how you slice it. I don't know a lot about PR, but that seems like a staggering amount of money to make in such a short period of time. It's a whole whack of dough. You said gov wouldn't have settled if they knew what they know said you knew that Brian Mulroney (BM) had a business relationship w/Karlheinz Schreiber (KHS)...

Luc Lavoie: (interrupting) No, I didn't say that...

Martin (NDP): well, I understood you to say that in Nov 95 there was a business relationship w/KHS

Luc Lavoie: I never said that. Not the case.

Martin (NDP): certainly BM was not being forthright w/Canadians. And we could have kept on, not to "torture" the man, but to get to the truth. Because Canadians feel it's like pulling teeth to get truth. Don't misunderstand when we say we wished the investigation had gone further.

Mulcair (NDP): in answering M. Murphy, he said that Ogilvy Renault, BM's firm, his contract allowed him to work as an outside consultant. (NOTE: Lavoie vouched for BM's December exchange w/Thibault). What did you base that on? Under oath?

Luc Lavoie: he told me that

Mulcair (NDP): but when *I* asked you if that work referred to law firm or something else, you said you had no info on that. But in response to M. Murphy, you said the contract was with Ogilvy Renault. We're going to subpoena the firm and get his contract. You said he told you he had a contract w/OR to do outside work, outside firm.

Luc Lavoie: yes

Mulcair (NDP): there was a leak, a reference to an extraordinary RCMP, Feigenwald, who was the fall-guy for the Liberals in this story, but you said that the initial leak came from Switzerland. What's your proof? The Liberals always tried to pin it on the RCMP.

Luc Lavoie: the original leak, the first reference to this matter in an article by Agence France Presse and published in front page La Presse, Montreal. No reference to BM, but investigation w/RCMP "money paid in kickbacks to Canadian politicians," that was Nov 12, 1995. AFP from Geneva or from Zurich.

Mulcair (NDP): testimony refers to GCI. What's your knowledge of Mr. Moore's involvement?

Luc Lavoie: don't know Moores, only know what I read in media

4:28 PM
Thibault (LPC): it was stated in past, by you or BM himself, in 2003 that the monies from KHS (in relation to lawsuit against BM by KHS) that 300K-and that amount wasn't disputed at the time by either party-- was for representation for Thyssen for plant in Montreal East, as well as some relation to a Pasta business.

Luc Lavoie: need more information. In 2003?

Thibault (LPC): you're familiar w/lawsuit by KHS against BM?

Luc Lavoie: I believe that was 2007

Thibault (LPC): you may be right. The claim by KHS is that no work was done to earn money. Claim by BM was that money was for pasta business and working on Thyssen plant, what was once BHP. It morphed in 1993, around time, to Montreal East (from Cape Breton). There was no argument over amount of 300K. You're familiar w/their statement of claims?

Luc Lavoie: yes, I am

Thibault (LPC): we hear in this cmte that the work BM earned was for Thyssen're familiar w/BM's current position?

Luc Lavoie: I heard that

Thibault (LPC): he never discussed taht with you? That he was/wasn't working for Thyssen?

Luc Lavoie: I remember hearing him say he was working on Thyssen LAV project. He mentioned, further down road, that he did some work about pasta business

Thibault (LPC): But you're not a kid out of PR school. You're one of the top in of the absolute best (awwww...)

Luc Lavoie: thank you

Thibault (LPC): he's hired you, he's got all these accusations against know about all of these. You know that Harper has met w/BM at Harrington lake. And that Schreiber provides letter to BM to go to Mr. Harper. You're aware of that?

Luc Lavoie: afterwards...I wasn't aware of that Harrington Lake meeting until I heard it in the media

Thibault (LPC): but BM has huge problems in the media...and he doesn't tell you these things? Is it plausible deniability that he's affording you? Or is he replacing someone as the "biggest liar"...

Luc Lavoie: no, top three I said...maybe top five (laughter)

Szabo (chair, LPC): order! Mr. Lavoie, one more time: you said that you were apprised of the money transaction in spring 2000. I assume someone talked about 'how much,' or at least if I'd received envelopes w/1000$ bills, it is SO unusual, SO off the wall, that SOMEONE must have said "thousand dollar bills!" Is that correct?

Luc Lavoie: no, someone said to me "retainer in cash, in 10s of 1000s of dollars on three occasions..."

Szabo (chair, LPC): (incredulous) but this thing about 1000 currency, never came up w/anybody's discussion.

Luc Lavoie: no

Szabo (chair, LPC): (bangs table) Incroyable!
(holy shit! I think this is the closest Szabo has come to cursing! Awesome!)

4:34 PM
Murphy (LPC): in Nov 95, to CBC, you were asked if BM had any connection to Swiss accts DEVON, you categorically deny that he has any connection. Asked if there was 3rd party involvement, you said, "Absolutely not! I know that to be true! He told me" Your statement in 95 was that he had received NO money.

Luc Lavoie: that's not what we were talking about. We were talking about bank accts in LOR to Swiss in 95.

Wallace (CPC): (interrupting) I thought at 4:30 we would be starting a new witness...

Szabo (chair, LPC): thank you, if you heard in my opening stmt--and Mr. Tilson argued this--I didn't take time then, but I'll repeat to remind members, when we approved witness list, we went through it, and I explained we would put one comprehensive witness w/narrower witness, so we knew there'd be an imbalance in amt time...

Wallace (CPC): you're assuming that this is the "bad" witness and the other is not (??)

Szabo (chair, LPC): thank you, that is not a Point of Order, but I wanted to answer your question

Wallace (CPC): I think we should be following the agenda.

Szabo (chair, LPC): Mr. Wallace, the cmte approved and agreed that the meeting would go beyond 5:30 if necessary, so thank you.

Wallace (CPC): we're now in the third long will we go?

Szabo (chair, LPC): I'll ask the clerk to get the minutes from our mtg, to remind everyone what we agreed to. Now, Mr. Murphy, please carry on.

4:37 PM
Murphy (LPC): you told the nation that BM had not received money from DEVON in 95. You thought he received no money from KHS. So how can you know that he didn't receive money from DEVON, 'cause you now know that he DID receive money from KHS? How could you be certain in 95? The answer, I think, is that BM never told you about it. You told the truth b/c he kept that from you. What do you think?

Luc Lavoie: that was a little convoluted. I don't agree with that statement.

Murphy (LPC): can you tell me the name of the consulting company? You didn't answer that question for us, before...

Luc Lavoie: I didn't answer b/c I don't know.

Coming up next: Part VI ("A high maintenance relationship"), or return to Part IV ("Let's not get metaphysical here...")
LOL Wallace home-made by moi. Please feel free to steal at will.

No comments: