A Lady's Ruminations

"Jane was firm where she felt herself to be right." -Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Senate Refers Galloway to US Prosecutors with "Probably Cause"

The Times: Galloway faces US court action over Iraq cash claims---

GEORGE GALLOWAY was referred to US prosecutors last night by a Senate committee that said there was “probable cause” to believe that he lied to Congress about his role in the UN Oil-for-Food scandal.

Democrats joined Republicans on the Senate subcommittee on Investigations in forwarding the case to the US Justice Department and prosecutors for potential prosecution.

The decision came after the discovery by Senate investigators of a payment of $150,000 (£84,000) in Iraqi oil proceeds to the MP’s now-estranged wife, Amina Naji Abu Zayyad.

Investigators also traced $446,000 in Iraqi oil money to the Respect MP’s anti-sanctions Mariam Appeal, originally set up to pay for medical treatment in Britain of an Iraqi girl suffering from leukaemia.

The Senate panel said the evidence called “into question the veracity of sworn testimony” given by Mr Galloway at his confrontation with senators in May, in which he denied any involvement in Iraqi oil sales.

Senator Norm Coleman, the panel’s Republican chairman, called the payment of Iraqi oil money to Mr Galloway’s wife “a smoking gun”. Democrats joined the committee’s Republican majority in referring the case to the Justice Department and prosecutors in New York and Washington.

“Since Mr Galloway’s testimony, the subcommittee has obtained evidence indicating the Mr Galloway made false or misleading statements under oath at the hearing,” the panel said in a letter to the US Attorney-General. “We have determined that there is reasonable cause to believe that violations of law may have occurred.”