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Old 04-28-2005, 05:38 AM   #1
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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.

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Old 04-28-2005, 09:03 PM   #2
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More deals of concience have been revealed
UN Probes German Companies in Oil for Food Scandal

By Beat Balzli

German companies are also involved in the kickback scandal looming over the oil for food program. United Nations investigators recently requested exports files on 50 German firms from the Foreign Ministry.

Saddam Hussein's affection for the Swiss financial metropolis Geneva had a long-running history and tradition. Many times over the past decades, Iraq's former dictator used the fancy and glitzy banking hub on the shores of Lake Geneva as a hiding place for his illegally earned billions. In the late 1980s, Saddam even sent his half-brother to Switzerland, ordering him to protect the money personally.

Bankers in the city along the Rhone River did brisk business with Saddam, even during the United Nations embargo. Saddam's followers secretly demanded their piece of the pie: those "pieces" were shares of inflated bills issued to corporations planning to supply goods to Baghdad as part of the oil-for-food program. As one of several channels, one account held at the tony Geneva private bank Safdie could be used to transfer these kickbacks.

The wheeling and dealing that took place between industry and the toppled Saddam clan has been under investigation since late 2003, when a high-profile commission started examining the matter. Paul Volcker, former head of the United States Federal Reserve Bank, South African judge Paul Goldstone and Swiss criminal law professor Mark Pieth are currently trying to find out how massive amounts of money could disappear through the Saddam regime's dark channels, even as the UN closely monitored the Iraqi dictator.

Between 1996 and the invasion of the American troops in spring 2003, Iraq was allowed to sell oil worth $64 billion. The money went into a UN trust account, and it was supposed to be used to pay for vital goods -- like food and medicines -- and old debt from the first Gulf war. Still, Iraq's ruling clique managed to skim approximately $20 billion off the top of that money -- filtering it into secret safes located in Iraq and abroad. Saddam's lackeys generated the money through manipulated oil sales and smuggling, but especially through large kickbacks from companies, which started in 2000 and were used to finagle large-scale contracts.

"Ten percent of the overall contract value -- that was the rule," recalled one former Middle East salesman working for a German corporation.

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