Iraq to file lawsuits over UN oil-for-food graft

June 29th, 2008 - 7:37 pm ICT by IANS  

Baghdad, June 29 (Xinhua) The Iraqi government Sunday said it would file lawsuits in the US courts against companies and individuals who benefited illegally from the UN oil-for-food programme. Government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said in a statement posted on the government website: “The Iraqi government has decided to file lawsuits in US courts against a group of companies and individuals that conspired to corrupt the UN oil-for-food programme.”

He said his government was taking this step to make those people, who benefited illegitimately from the programme, “accountable for their actions”.

However, the statement did not name any company or individual against whom the legal procedures were planned.

The oil-for-food programme was first initiated by the UN in 1995 under a UN Security Council Resolution 986 and ended the programme in late 2003.

The programme was intended to allow Iraq to sell oil on the world market in exchange for food, medicine, and other humanitarian needs for ordinary Iraqi citizens without allowing Iraq to rebuild its military.

Saddam Hussein’s regime allegedly embezzled millions of dollars from the scheme.

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