Two European politicians fingered by the US Senate investigation into alleged oil for food corruption are fighting back after saying they had not been asked for their side of the story. Former French Interior Minister Charles Pasqua has said he is caught in the crossfire of a US campaign against France, which opposed the invasion of Iraq.
He has pointed out there are several investigations underway in the US. “What I find scandalous is that my name be used in this manner – so I want this to go the distance. I want justice to be thorough and I don’t want anybody to be overlooked, not even me”, he says.
The Senate report claims Pasqua and maverick British politician George Galloway received oil allocations as a reward for their calls for sanctions to be lifted. Tomorrow Galloway testifies before the Senate. He says the committee is unfairly targetting him along with UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and the French government. As he left Britain on Monday he said: “I’m going to accuse them of being involved in a huge diversion from the real issues in Iraq, which are the theft of billions of dollars’ worth of Iraq wealth by the United States of America and its corporations and the death of more than 100,000 people in Iraq.”
Galloway, who met Saddam Hussein in Iraq several times, set up a charity in 1998 to provide medical treatment for Iraqi children. He denies Senate accusations that he used it as a cover for oil payments.