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.

Sport
formula oneLive lap-by-lap coverage of championship decider
Life and Style
Small winemakers say the restriction makes it hard to sell overseas
food + drink
News
Former civil rights activist who was jailed for smoking crack cocaine has died aged 78
Arts and Entertainment
Jerry Hall (Hand out press photograph provided by jackstanley@theambassadors.com)
theatre
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Carrie Hope Fletcher
booksFirst video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Arts and Entertainment
Damien Hirst
artCoalition's anti-culture policy and cuts in local authority spending to blame, says academic
Sport
premier leagueMatch report: Arsenal 1 Man United 2
Arts and Entertainment
Kirk Cameron is begging his Facebook fans to give him positive reviews
film
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Jason goes on a special mission for the queen
tvReview: Everyone loves a CGI Cyclops and the BBC's Saturday night charmer is getting epic
Sport
Jonny May scores for England
rugby unionEngland 28 Samoa 9: Wing scores twice to help England record their first win in six
Life and Style
fashionThe Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Sport
Tony Bellew (left) and Nathan Cleverly clash at the Echo Arena in Liverpool
boxingLate surge sees Liverpudlian move into world title contention
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Reach Volunteering: Financial Trustee and Company Secretary

Voluntary Only - Expenses Reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: A trustee (company d...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Project Manager

£45000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Shopfitter

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join a successful an...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Sales Account Manager

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Digital Sales Account Manager...

Day In a Page

Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

The last Christians in Iraq

After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Britain braced for Black Friday
Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

From America's dad to date-rape drugs

Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

Flogging vlogging

First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

US channels wage comedy star wars
When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible
Look what's mushrooming now! Meat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector

Look what's mushrooming now!

Meat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector
Neil Findlay is more a pink shrimp than a red firebrand

More a pink shrimp than a red firebrand

The vilification of the potential Scottish Labour leader Neil Findlay shows how one-note politics is today, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Tenderstem broccoli omelette; Fried eggs with Mexican-style tomato and chilli sauce; Pan-fried cavolo nero with soft-boiled egg

Oeuf quake

Bill Granger's cracking egg recipes
Terry Venables: Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back

Terry Venables column

Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back
Michael Calvin: Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

Those at the top are allowing the same issues to go unchallenged, says Michael Calvin