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US Senate Panel Says British Lawmaker Lied About Iraq Oil


A U.S. Senate investigation alleges that anti-war British lawmaker George Galloway lied, under oath, when he denied benefiting from Iraq's scandal-plagued oil-for-food program. Mr. Galloway vows to go to court and fight any legal charges.

The Senate accusations stem from Mr. Galloway's May testimony before a subcommittee that was investigating the U.N.'s oil-for-food program with Iraq.

Mr. Galloway denied getting any oil concessions from the Saddam Hussein regime. He accused the panel, led by Senator Norm Coleman, of attacking him because of his opposition to the Iraq war.

Senate investigators say Mr. Galloway and a charity he founded received allocations of 23 million barrels of Iraqi crude between 1999 and 2003. His estranged wife also allegedly benefited from the scheme.

Senator Coleman says Mr. Galloway was, "anything but straight with the Senate and the American people."

Mr. Galloway went on British radio, Tuesday, to denounce the committee's findings. He is urging the United States to formally charge him.

"If a Senate committee can go on the international airwaves - without putting this to you; without sending me an advance - and accuse me of lying under oath in front of a Senate committee, then I demand that they charge me with perjury and I'll be on the next plane to face it," he said.

Sources familiar with the investigation say Mr. Galloway could face charges of perjury - making false statements and obstruction of a congressional proceeding. Each charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Much of the Senate's new evidence stems from testimony by former Iraqi officials, including onetime Vice President Taha Yasin Ramadan and former Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz, a longtime Galloway friend.

Mr. Galloway says those men are concocting allegations against him because they seek leniency in their own legal cases.

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