After 12 years of investigation and prosecution, fallout from the Airbus scandal that plagued former prime minister Brian Mulroney's government appears to be over.
Barring a successful Crown appeal, the end came yesterday when an Ottawa judge discharged a helicopter company of the only charge ever laid by the RCMP in the case. The judge ruled there was no evidence against Eurocopter and discharged the company following a preliminary hearing.
"It is a good news day for Brian Mulroney. It is a bad day for the RCMP," said William Kaplan, a Toronto lawyer and author who wrote a book on the secret hearings into the initial Eurocopter search warrants.
"None of the allegations against Brian Mulroney have been shown to have any legal legs at all," he observed.
With this last loose end from the Airbus affair tied up, Brian Mulroney can now be conclusively proven, beyond a shadow of a doubt, innocent of any wrongdoing in the Airbus affair.
Mulroney was foolish to have accepted $300,000 cash from Karlheinz Schreiber for consulting fees, an act that while legal, was not becoming of a former prime minister, nor should he have tried to hide that fact.
But he did not deserve to face an investigation based solely on his successor's vindictiveness towards his political enemies and the lies cooked up by a spiteful journalist who sold herself to the RCMP as an informer in her quest for vengeance against a man who had never wronged her.
History will more regard Mulroney more kindly than his Liberal successors. The failure of the recent smear campaign following the release of Peter C. Newman's book about Mulroney speaking at his frankest shows that his public image is even now being rehabilitated.
Source: Ottawa Citizen