Galloway challenges US senators to charge him with perjury

The US Senate committee investigating the Respect MP's alleged involvement in the saga claims to have discovered £85,000 (150,000 dollars) in Iraqi oil money in his estranged wife's bank account.

And its chairman, Republican Senator Norm Coleman, says this means Mr Galloway lied under oath when giving evidence to the Senate Permanent Sub-committee on Investigations on May 17 this year, when he offered a passionate defence against similar claims

But Mr Galloway repeated denials that he had ever received any oil cash, and told Mr Coleman to "put up or shut up" by either bringing a prosecution or dropping the allegations.

The Bethnal Green and Bow MP accused Mr Coleman of orchestrating a "sneak revenge attack" motivated by a desire to avenge his "humiliation" at the hearing in May.

"I am demanding prosecution, I am begging for prosecution," Mr Galloway told Sky News.

"I am saying if I have lied under oath in front of the Senate, that's a criminal offence.

"Charge me and I will head for the airport right now and face them down in court as I faced them down in the Senate room.

"Because I publicly humiliated this lick-spittle senator Norman Coleman - one of (President George) Bush's right-hand men - in the US Senate in May, this sneak revenge attack has been launched over the last 24 hours."

The committee's new report accuses Mr Galloway of personally soliciting and being granted eight oil allocations totalling 23 million barrels from the Hussein government between 1999 and 2003.

It claims that his estranged wife, Dr Amineh Abu-Zayyad, received approximately £85,000 (150,000 dollars) in connection with one allocation of oil.

And it alleges that at least £252,000 (446,000 dollars) was funnelled to Mr Galloway's Mariam Appeal through several allocations.

Senator Coleman said: "I directed the sub-committee to continue its investigation into Mr Galloway because his testimony at the May 17, 2005 hearing so clearly conflicted with the evidence."

"The additional evidence ... clearly demonstrates that the testimony Mr Galloway provided to the sub-committee was false and misleading."

In its initial report the committee accused the former Labour MP of receiving 20 million barrels of oil from Saddam Hussein's regime.

Dr Abu-Zayyad is quoted in the report specifically denying she received any money.

Asked whether she or her husband had benefited from Iraq oil sales, she replied to the committee in writing yesterday: "I have never solicited or received from Iraq or anyone else any proceeds of any oil deals, either for myself or for my former husband."

The committee attributes its findings to personal interviews with high-level members of the Hussein regime, anonymous oil traders with personal knowledge of Mr Galloway's involvement and extensive bank records.

It claims that Jordanian businessman Fawaz Zureikat, a good friend of Mr Galloway, channelled the money from the United Nations oil-for-food programme to the MP's former wife and to the Mariam Appeal.

It also cites testimony from former Iraqi deputy prime minister Tariq Aziz who allegedly told investigators that Mr Galloway had requested oil allocations in the name of Mr Zureikat.

Former Iraqi vice president, Taha Yasin Ramadan, is quoted as saying that Mr Galloway had been granted oil allocations "because of his opinions about Iraq".

Mr Ramadan allegedly refers to the MP as "a friend of Iraq" who "needed to be compensated for his support."

The report also quotes former Iraqi oil minister Amer Rashid as confirming that Mr Galloway was granted oil allocations.

The committee then printed alleged documents which it claims prove the money transfers were made.

A Senate aide said the information had been turned over to the US Department of Justice, which potentially had the power to press charges of perjury.

The information will also be given to the British authorities.

Mr Galloway today said he had never inquired into the sources of funding for his former wife's scientific work and did not speak on her behalf.

Of Aziz and Ramadan's evidence, he said: "The evidence is statements made by the people on trial for genocide and living now in the dungeons of the American occupation in Iraq.

"Knowing what we do about what happens to people in American dungeons in Iraq, you don't have to be a genius to work out why, after May, they would get somebody to say what they want them to say.

"Nobody has ever given me one thin dime from an oil deal or any other deal.

The Respect MP recently won £150,000 in libel damages after suing the Telegraph over documents published in 2003, in which he was said to have asked for an increased allocation from the oil-for-food programme.

The newspaper is currently appealing that ruling.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Office / Sales Manager

£22000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Established and expanding South...

Recruitment Genius: Administrative Assistant / Order Fulfilment

£14000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity to join a thrivi...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consulta...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consulta...

Day In a Page

Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones