Source Pravda.Ru

New Oil-for-food evidence points finger at Galloway

Senate investigators to release new evidence on Tuesday that they say demonstrates fiery British politician George Galloway secretly profited from Saddam Hussein's attempts to wrest control of proceeds from the Oil-for-Food program.

Five months after Galloway appeared before the Senate's Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations and declared the panel's allegations against him "utterly preposterous," investigators are unveiling details to argue Galloway solicited, and was granted, oil allocations from Saddam's regime.

During an investigation last May into Houston's BayOil (USA) and other entities accused of funneling kickbacks to Saddam's regime, Galloway flatly denied buying or selling any oil.

But Senate investigators respond that the new evidence challenges Galloway's statements to the subcommittee.

"Galloway was anything but straight with the Congress," said Sen. Norm Coleman, R-Minn., chairman of the subcommittee. "He was anything but straight with the American people."

But the controversial member of Parliament, who waived all rights to immunity before testifying, isn't backing down.

"Charge me, then. Charge me with perjury," Galloway said through a spokesman. "I'll fly out tomorrow if you lay out these charges, and I'll have my day in court. And I'll disprove them, categorically," reports Houston Chronicle.

Coleman, a critic of the United Nations, said his panel's evidence shows that Galloway personally solicited and was granted oil allocations totaling 23 million barrels from 1999 through 2003. Those allocations could be sold for a profit.

The report also alleges that Galloway's friend, Jordanian businessman Fawaz Zureikat, funneled money from the oil-for-food program to Galloway's wife, Amineh Abu-Zayyad, and to the Mariam Appeal, a political organization that Galloway established in 1998 to help a 4-year-old Iraqi girl with leukemia.

Coleman said his investigators confirmed their evidence in interviews with former Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz, a friend of Galloway's, and former Iraqi Vice President Taha Yasin Ramadan.

Several congressional committees are investigating allegations that Saddam Hussein manipulated the $64 billion oil-for-food program to get kickbacks and build international opposition to U.N. sanctions against Iraq imposed after Saddam's 1990 invasion of Kuwait, informs Washington Post.

P.T.