04-28-2005, 05:38 AM
love, blood, life
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: The Wild West
Local Time: 11:02 AM
No War! (for Oil)
More oily deals surfacing up from the investigation.
Ex-French minister probed over oil-for-food
By Claudio Gatti
Published: April 27 2005 21:56 | Last updated: April 28 2005 1:01
Charles Pasqua, a former French minister of interior, has emerged as one of the highest-ranking targets of the widening investigations into the Iraq oil-for-food scandal.
United Nations, US and French investigators are examining Iraqi documents that show officials in Baghdad were instructed to transfer his lucrative oil allocations to an offshore company, to shield him from criticism.
Mr Pasqua's alleged role has emerged as inquiries turn to the role of foreign governments in the corruption within the humanitarian aid programme. France and Russia, which opposed the 2003 invasion, have long been accused in the US of being too close to Saddam Hussein's regime.
Early on Tuesday, Bernard Guillet, Mr Pasqua's diplomatic adviser, was arrested at home in Paris in connection with the oil-for-food inquiry, on the orders of Philippe Courroye, a French investigative judge. Mr Guillet was yesterday in police custody.
The Iraqi documents indicate that Mr Pasqua's oil allocations were personally approved by Mr Hussein.
Last October, a list of alleged beneficiaries of Iraqi oil allocations that included politicians, journalists and business people from all over the world was published by the US administration. Mr Pasqua and Mr Guillet were said to have received 10.8m and 2m barrels respectively.
At the time Mr Guillet was reported as saying: "My role was only to say to Tariq Aziz [deputy prime minister] or others, 'Look, there are some companies that are willing to work and they're having difficulties.' That's it."
However, a handwritten note from Saddam Hassan, Somo's managing director, suggests Mr Guillet asked Iraqi officials not to give his boss's allocations to any French company.
Mr Pasqua could not be reached for comment. He has previously denied any wrongdoing.
Interesting side note is that two of the top investigators in the Volker inquiry have resigned over certain leads not being fully followed up in relation to the Secretary General of the UN and his personal knowledge and possible involvement in the rorting of the oil for food program. Oil for food turned into murder for money, murder perpetrated by Saddam Hussein against the Iraqi people and enabled by the crooked businessmen and UN buerocrats. There must be some accountability and justice over the biggest scam of its type in history, 20 billion dollars is no small change and hundreds of thousands of lives claimed by lack of food and medicines while their deaths were used by the regime to swing global opinion against the sanctions ~ a huge attempt for Saddam to both keep his WMD programs alive and get sanctions knocked off.