Iraq to file US lawsuits over oil-for-food: Minister
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Last Updated: Tuesday, January 05, 2010, 22:38
Baghdad: Iraq will file lawsuits in the United States against foreign firms for alleged fraud in a UN oil-for-food scheme under Saddam Hussein's regime, the country's commerce minister said on Tuesday.

"We have asked an American lawyer to prosecute the companies that violated the law regarding the oil-for-food programme," Safaldin al-Safi said, but did not give any further details.

French newspaper Liberation said today that the Iraqi government has demanded a total of USD 10 billion in compensation from 93 companies for alleged violations of the terms of the programme.

According to the newspaper, among the companies are French vehicle manufacturer Renault and banking giant BNP Paribas.

Liberation said that BNP Paribas rejected the allegations.

The UN oil-for-food programme ran from 1996 until 2003, when US-led forces invaded Iraq.

It allowed Baghdad to sell limited amounts of oil to fund UN-supervised imports of humanitarian goods which the country lacked because of tight UN sanctions imposed after Iraq's invasion of Kuwait in 1990.


First Published: Tuesday, January 05, 2010, 22:38

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