Iraqi intelligence documents recovered in the looted foreign ministry in Baghdad suggest a high-profile figure in Britain’s opposition to the war in Iraq was on the take, according to the Daily Telegraph.
The London daily reports George Galloway, an outspoken member of the governing Labor Party, received an annual cut from Iraq’s exports under the oil-for-food program worth approximately $585,500.
The Telegraph cites a confidential memorandum one of its journalists found that was sent to Saddam Hussein by his head of intelligence. In the memo, which is dated Jan. 3, 2000, the Mukhabarat chief said Galloway had asked a secret agent for a greater cut of the exports.
“He needs continuous financial support from Iraq,” read the memo. “He obtained through Mr. Tariq Aziz (deputy prime minister) 3 million barrels of oil every six months, according to the oil-for-food program. His share would be only between 10 and 15 cents per barrel.”
The documents say that Galloway entered into partnership with a named Iraqi oil broker to sell the oil on the international market.
The memo also indicated that Galloway was profiting from food contracts with the ministry of trade and sought “exceptional” business deals.
The spy chief, whose signature on the bottom of the memo is illegible, recommends acceptance of Galloway’s proposals.
According to other Iraqi intelligence documents, Galloway’s intermediary in Iraq was Fawaz Zureikat, a Jordanian, who emphasized the “name of Mr. Galloway or his wife should not be mentioned.”
The Telegraph reports other papers stress the need for secrecy about Galloway’s alleged business links with the regime. One memo says that payments to him must be made under “commercial cover.”
Galloway denies the accusations and dismisses the report as a “smear campaign” against him for his opposition to the war.
“Maybe it is the product of the same forgers who forged so many other things in this whole Iraq picture. Maybe the Daily Telegraph forged it. Who knows?” he said.
The United Nations has administered Iraq’s oil sales, which were intended to fund humanitarian supplies, since the first Gulf war.
The left-wing lawmaker, who represents a constituency in Glasgow, has long protested U.N. sanctions against Iraq.
After airstrikes began last month, Galloway made headlines by calling British Prime Minister Tony Blair and President George W. Bush “wolves.”
Galloway is widely known for his anti-war charity, the Mariam Appeal, which was named after an Iraqi child who suffered from leukemia. In 1998, Galloway flew Mariam Hamza for treatment at the Sick Kids Hospital in Glasgow and launched a fund-raising effort in her name. The fund continues to pay for the family’s ongoing medical, transportation and housing expenses.
Galloway says Zureikat now coordinates the fund.
“I have never solicited nor received money from Iraq for our campaign against war and sanctions,” he said in a statement. “I have never seen a barrel of oil, never owned one, never bought one, never sold one.”
This month’s issue of Whistleblower, WorldNetDaily’s acclaimed monthly print magazine includes a groundbreaking WND probe that exposes the violent, revolutionary leadership of the “peace” movement.