Tuesday, February 21, 2006Australia oil-for-food inquiry to probe government knowledge of AWB bribesKrystal MacIntyre at 12:09 PM ET
[JURIST] The Australian parliamentary inquiry [Cole Commission website] looking into allegations that leading Australian wheat exporter Australian Wheat Board (AWB) [corporate website] provided over $200 million in kickbacks to Saddam Hussein's former regime [JURIST report] as part of the now-defunct UN oil-for-food program [JURIST news archive] has expanded its scope and will also try to learn what government officials knew about the alleged scam. Commission head Terence Cole [official profile] on Tuesday urged lawmakers and public servants to come forward with evidence in connection to the scandal.
Prime Minister John Howard [official profile] has insisted that the government had no knowledge of the alleged multimillion dollar scam that violated UN sanctions. An AWB executive, however, has testified [hearing transcripts] that Australian officials were aware of the company's payments to the Hussein regime as early as March, 2001.
AP has more.
our government's ministers are trying to us the defence, "we didn't know (coz we didn't want to know)" ... "no one drew our attention to it
so much for responsible government.
with our federal behaving as if it is constructed like the usa not the uk/canadian/new zealand we're being royally 'tarded by the royalists - who seem to assume we haven't noticed we're not in a republic.