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Drabinsky Final Argument - 11: The Bill Clinton Defence

The defence spends nearly 23 pages going over the testimony surrounding the events of a dramatic April 24th meeting with Drabinksy, Eckstein and Craib where Drabinsky allegedly openly discussed plans to manipulate the company’s first quarter financial statements. During the numerous investigations into Livent’s accounting and during the trial, Craib gave detailed testimony about the meeting.There’s just one problem: it could not have happened the way Craib originally described it.
At the time the alleged meeting was taking place Drabinsky was in Washington D.C. attending a gala luncheon with then U.S. President Bill Clinton. Drabinsky even has a picture of him, the president and his girlfriend at the time to prove it. Craib, maintains that he merely got the time of the meeting wrong and, in fact, Drabinsky did fly back to Toronto on the company’s private jet that afternoon and was back in the office later that same day.
Craib testified that he told Messina about the meeting and that prompted her to write a memo and confront Drabinsky and Gottlieb about the plan and threaten not to support the company’s financial statements. This is nothing but a pack of lies, and part of a complex and far-reaching plan hatched by Messina to ingratiate her with new management and save her job, the defence argues.
“Messina and Craib would be expected to lay down their high card first. And the card they turned over was Q1 1998, a complete lie,” Greenspan argues.
Prosecutors say the defence is placing too much emphasis on these events. After all, this was the last quarter that Drabinsky and Gottlieb were in charge of the company’s financials and it was pretty much the only quarter that there was no accounting manipulation of Livent’s books. Instead, the Livent opted to take a whopping $20 million loss.
But the fact there is so little emphasis placed on these events by prosecutors, the defence argues, is that the testimony exposes the witnesses as self-serving liars. “It was only when this critical evidence was proved to be a demonstrable lie at the preliminary hearing that the crown is de-emphasizing Q1 1998.”