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Aust: Were wheat $ the results of bribery by Iraq?

Were wheat $ billions the results of bribery?

"The Government could confiscate AWB profits if Iraqi payments are found to be bribery," said Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert in Perth today.

"If the Cole inquiry finds that AWB illegally paid $300 million to
Saddam's regime to ensure AWB could sell billions of dollars of wheat, then the Commonwealth might confiscate profits from the wheat sales under the Proceeds of Crime Act," she said.

"This could potentially add up to hundreds of millions of dollars of profit - at the expense of a UN humanitarian aid program."

Under the Criminal Code (Bribery of Foreign Public Officials) Act of
1999 it is an offence to pay or provide benefit to a person in an effort to influence a public official (including contractors and intermediaries) in order to retain business or retain a business advantage.

The Government needs to determine if 'compensation payments' and fees paid to Jordanian intermediaries qualify as bribes to foreign officials under the Criminal Code,"

The UN program was set up to ensure that food could get through to the Iraqi people in danger of starvation in the face of UN sanctions aimed at preventing Hussein's regime from buying weapons of mass destruction.

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