Monday, November 12, 2007

Large Cash Payments and the Burden of Proof in Mulroney's $100,000 envelopes

I have a lot of indirect knowledge of corruption and cash transactions in the People's Republic of China. A lot of that sort of thing goes on there. Can't say I have any direct knowledge as so far no one has invited me to a hotel room to slip me a thick envelope of cash. When I have done some consulting work it has always been paid by cheque after the fact and those modest cheques tend to be rather slow coming in the mail.

In Canada all reasonable people would assume that anyone in receipt of a cash payment of $300,000 (even if spread over 3 envelopes) is up to something illegal. The issue in the Mulroney-Schreiber dealings is it is likely that everything was arranged in meetings with no written agenda or minutes taken. So based on my China experience, as long as Mr. Mulroney and the others present in the hotel rooms, parliamentary office, and cottage on Harrington Lake, where Mr. Mulroney met with Mr. Schreiber stick to the explanation that nothing untoward was going on, then Mr. Mulroney will not end up serving time in prison.

But my heart laments.

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