U.S. District Judge Denny Chin has ruled that prosecutors can introduce evidence (in the form of a diary) in the trial of Oscar Wyatt, a Texas oil tycoon, that shows that Wyatt tipped off Iraq about the impending 2003 US invasion.
Judge Chin also allowed evidence that the defence claims unfairly suggested that payments made by Wyatt to Iraq's state oil marketing organisation were bribes passed on to Saddam Hussein.
Wyatt will stand trial on September 5, at a federal court in Manhattan, accused of paying millions of dollars in kickbacks to Iraq to win oil contracts and corrupting the oil-for-food program.
The judge agreed with prosecutors who said that the diary was needed to show Wyatt's close ties with Iraqi officials.
"It shows Mr. Wyatt was trying extremely hard to get additional (oil) allocations," the judge said. "Why was the Iraq government treating Mr. Wyatt so well? Why did he get the first (oil) allocation? ... This is further evidence of that relationship."