February 15, 2006

Digging In The AWB Dirt

From ABC News Online:
Direct evidence of AWB's knowledge about trucking fees on wheat sales being paid as kickbacks to Iraq has finally been received by the Cole inquiry into the oil-for-food scandal.

The inquiry heard that the documents contradicting the evidence of several senior AWB executives could have changed the course of the inquiry if they had been produced earlier.

Several wheat market reports state that transport fees paid to Alia Trucking in Jordan were covered under failed contracts and went to the Iraq Ministry of Transport.

The monthly reports in 2001 and 2002 also claim the fees were approved by the United Nations.

The data, which was held electronically at AWB, was only produced yesterday evening.
From the SMH:
It is also possible the information was given to AWB's federal government regulator, the Wheat Export Authority (WEA), at least three years ago.

If further investigations show the authority was aware of the information, it would show the Howard government may have known that AWB's money was being funnelled to the Iraqi government.
Background on this story here and here and here.

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