NEWS

Karlheinz Schreiber prison release upheld

05/18/2012 01:12 EDT | Updated 07/18/2012 05:12 EDT

The release of Karlheinz Schreiber from a Munich prison has been confirmed by a German court, according to a media report.

Munich state court affirmed a lower court decision that the German-Canadian former arms lobbyist should be released, the German dapd news agency said.

Schreiber, 78, was originally ordered released on Tuesday after he had a heart attack, but the order was quickly appealed.

Schreiber was at the centre of a widespread bribery and influence-peddling scandal in Germany. His secretive financial relationship with former prime minister Brian Mulroney also became the key element in a public inquiry in Canada.

Mulroney, who admitted taking $225,000 in cash from Schreiber, said he was paid for work he did abroad after stepping down as prime minister.

But Schreiber maintained the payments were made in 1993 and 1994 to lobby the Canadian government for a light-armoured vehicle plant.

Following a 10-year legal battle, Schreiber was extradited from Canada to Germany in 2009 to face tax evasion, fraud and bribery charges related to income he allegedly received from the sale of German-made armoured vehicles to Saudi Arabia in 1991.

The extradition process was so lengthy, in part, because the federal government allowed him to stay in Canada to testify at the inquiry about his dealings with Mulroney.

After his return to Germany, Schreiber was sentenced in 2010 to eight years in prison.

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