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Senate probe accuses UK, French politicians of taking oil-for-food kickbacks

[JURIST] The investigations subcommittee [official website] of the US Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee [official website] reported Thursday that British Member of Parliament George Galloway [BBC News profile] and French Interior Minister Charles Pasqua [official website, in French] both received Iraq oil kickbacks from Saddam Hussein under the UN oil-for-food program [official website]. The report claims that Galloway received an "allocation" for 20 million barrels of oil, while Pasqua reportedly received 11 million. Both Galloway and Pasqua have vigorously denied the charges [AFP report] and there is no evidence that they ever received funds for the alleged allocations. The now-defunct oil-for-food program has been surrounded by controversy [JURIST report] ever since revelations emerged that Saddam used it improperly to buy influence with politicians in the West. Reuters has more.

1:09 PM ET - British MP George Galloway accepted a Senate invitation Thursday to appear before the Homeland Security and Govermental Affairs Committee at its oil-for-food hearings [agenda] on Tuesday, May 17. Earlier in the day Galloway had objected to not having had any opportunity to respond to the US committee's accusations before being named in its report. BBC News has more.

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