Iraq sues AWB


According to a July 2 Brisbane Times article, the Iraqi government is suing the formerly Australian government-owned AWB Limited, which has a monopoly over Australian wheat exports, over its alleged rorting of the United Nations' oil-for-food program as part of UN-enforced sanctions against Iraq following the first Gulf War in 1991.

The Iraqi government is alleging it caused "virtually incalculable" suffering for the Iraqi people.

According to the article, AWB is one of 94 companies named in the lawsuit filed in a US court that "is seeking billions of dollars in damages and alleges the firms formed a conspiracy with the former dictator Saddam Hussein to reap economic benefits at the expense of Iraq's population".

A 2006 judicial enquiry in Australia found "that AWB paid Saddam's regime more than $220 million in kickbacks in exchange for wheat sales", the article reported. According to the lawsuit, billions of dollars were illegally funnelled to Saddam and his supporters, "all of which were directly translatable into food, medicine and other humanitarian goods that were supposed to reach the Iraqi people".

According the Iraqi government, reported in the article, "The resulting damage in human suffering caused to the Republic of Iraq and to the people of Iraq is virtually incalculable".

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