The Trial of Saddam Hussein and The Fallout of The War

The Trial of Saddam Hussein


The fallout in the Middle East from the regime change in Iraq

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Trader Fights Extradition

Dr John Irving, a British oil trader, is fighting extradition to the USA on charges of allegedly paying kickbacks to Saddam Hussein's regime.

Should Dr Irving be extradited, and convicted, he faces up to 62 years in prison; he denies the charges.

Dr Irving's solicitor, Andrew Preston, has asked the Serious Fraud Office and the Crown Prosecution Service to examine charges laid down in a federal indictment.

He wants the charges to be investigated in Britain, rather than face extradition. In the US he may be denied bail, and held in a high security prison.

The extradition request made by the US is under the same controversial law as the NatWest Three, who are awaiting trial in Houston.

The law has been criticised as it was originally drafted to fight terrorism, now it is being used against alleged "white collar" crime.

Dr Irving is accused of assisting in the illegal payment of millions of dollars to Iraqi officials, in exchange for deals to buy discounted oil.

Dr Irving is the only Briton to have been indicted for corrupt behaviour under the UN's Oil-for-Food programme.

It is alleged that Dr Irving was working for Bayoil, a US oil trading company, and sent faxes to Iraq containing market information between 1997 and 2003. He is accused of paying inflated commissions to oil dealers in Iraq, while knowing that some of the money was being paid to the Iraqi regime. The indictment alleges that Dr Irving was one of those responsible for diverting funds from the Oil-for-Food programme.

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