March 12, 2007

Former Iraq minister denies theft of millions

From the Times:
Shaalan became defence minister without any experience in security or managing a large organisation. Soon after his appointment he wrote to the prime minister, Iyad Allawi, asking for an increase in his ministry’s budget, which had been set at $450m, on top of $8-$10 billion the Americans spent separately that year on training and equipping the Iraqi army.

Shaalan decided to create new mechanised divisions and a rapid deployment force to counter the insurgency, and for that he needed more money. Such an increase would normally have been submitted first to the cabinet and, if approved, to the National Assembly.

Instead, Shaalan sent a memo to the office of the prime minister, requesting an emergency exemption from the procedures.

In a memo signed by Shaalan he said there were “a number of secret contracts the amounts of which cannot be made public”, and other contracts “which require immediate expenditure”. In the same memo he demands “tax exemption for secret contracts”. The finance ministry was instructed to allocate the $1.7 billion for the creation of the rapid deployment divisions and to place it at the disposal of Shaalan’s ministry.

Shaalan’s memo was dated August 29. Two days later Jumaili incorporated the Flowing Spring company with assets of $2,000. Within months the company was doing deals for the ministry and hundreds of millions of dollars were flowing into his personal account.
That's the same Allawi who the US neocons are now touting for a return to power, BTW.


Blog Archive