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Mounties' libel settlement pleases ex-premier Mulroney

Former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney says he feels completely vindicated by a settlement that will have the Royal Canadian Mounted Police pay $1.44 million for libeling him by asserting that he profited from an alleged kickback scheme.

"I was very pleased with the judgment and pleased that the matter has been resolved," Mulroney told CTV News.Mulroney sued the government for $36 million because of allegations he received payoffs in conjunction with the purchase of Airbus jetliners by Air Canada 10 years ago. An out-of-court settlement reached in January was approved by a justice on Tuesday.

"Not a nickel of this comes to me or my family in any way - it's an amount of money that we were obliged to spend to defend ourselves against these fallacious charges," Mulroney told CTV.

Government investigators had accused Mulroney of corruption in an official document sent to Swiss authorities seeking access to bank records there. The document became public after a still-unexplained leak.

The government apologized to Mulroney last winter and the Mounties so far have paid $864,000. The police force still must pay an additional $576,000, plus an amount of interest that has yet to be calculated.

As part of its apology, the government announced that it had no evidence of any wrongdoing by Mulroney. But it says the Airbus deal itself is still subject to investigation.