Galloway Oil Claims 'Based on Forgery'
Rebel MP George Galloway’s Respect Party claimed today
that evidence that he profited from Saddam Hussein’s regime was forged.
Ahead of Mr Galloway’s appearance in front of a committee of US senators
in Washington, his party said the committee was relying on a counterfeit
document created in Baghdad. It said Mr Galloway’s name had been pasted
on to a list of people and companies alleged to have made money out of the
Oil For Food programme.
His name appeared in a different typeface to other words on
the same line, the print was lighter in colour and Respect suggested it
had been stuck on and then the page re-photocopied.
His name also appeared at a slight angle and Respect said
that would be impossible on the computerised document unless it had been
Mr Galloway’s party said there was a clear link between
the list in the Senate Committee’s report and one which appeared in
a Baghdad newspaper in January last year.
Respect highlighted the claims of Sajad Ahmad Ali, who has
previously claimed to have been involved in forging that list.
Mr Ali said: “We forged this list of names and titles
of people who got money from the Ministry of Information, the palace and
the Oil For Food.
“We worked for 10 days and then we steamed the papers
a bit then dried them out so that they would look old.
“I beg anyone who reads his name in these papers to
ask for the original version and check the date of the writing with carbon
A spokesman for Respect said: “We know forgeries were
being produced and one is being used in evidence.
“We don’t have to prove an international conspiracy
nor are we alleging one but we are saying that there is a forgery here.
“This is the only documentary evidence. The question
to the committee should be what steps did they take to verify this document?
“The actual first document, we don’t know where
it is, they don’t know where it is and all they have is a photocopy
handed over by an unnamed source.”
The UN-backed Oil For Food scheme enabled Saddam Hussein to
export oil to pay for essential humanitarian goo help the Iraqi people cope
with sanctions imposed in 1991. Theell its oil for cash.
Saddam sold the vouchers at below market prices to favoured
parties who were able to sell them on at a profit.
The US Senate Committee accused Mr Galloway of receiving vouchers
for millions of barrels of oil but he has described the allegations as “absurd”
and asked to appear before them promising to “give them both barrels”
in what is expected to be a dramatic highly-charged exchange.
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