I took Saddam's cash, admits French envoy

By

Selected nut paragraphs from the UK Telegraph's story:

"One of France's most distinguished diplomats has confessed to an investigating judge that he accepted oil allocations from Saddam Hussein, it emerged yesterday.

Jean—Bernard Mérimée is thought to be the first senior figure to admit his role in the oil—for—food scandal, a United Nations humanitarian aid scheme hijacked by Saddam to buy influence....

The ambassador said the French authorities had known of his every move. (italics added)

France has been gravely embarrassed by oil—for—food allegations against senior figures, including Charles Pasqua, the former interior minister. He has denied receiving any benefit from the oil allocations issued in his name.

Inquiries have also found that French firms benefited disproportionately from oil—for—food contracts as part of an Iraqi policy to influence French votes on the UN Security Council.

Supporters of President George W Bush accuse France of putting its foreign policy up for sale and opposing the invasion of Iraq for commercial reasons. That has been fiercely denied in Paris."

Transatlantic Intelligencer adds to good comments to this story.

Selected nut paragraphs from the UK Telegraph's story:

"One of France's most distinguished diplomats has confessed to an investigating judge that he accepted oil allocations from Saddam Hussein, it emerged yesterday.

Jean—Bernard Mérimée is thought to be the first senior figure to admit his role in the oil—for—food scandal, a United Nations humanitarian aid scheme hijacked by Saddam to buy influence....

The ambassador said the French authorities had known of his every move. (italics added)

France has been gravely embarrassed by oil—for—food allegations against senior figures, including Charles Pasqua, the former interior minister. He has denied receiving any benefit from the oil allocations issued in his name.

Inquiries have also found that French firms benefited disproportionately from oil—for—food contracts as part of an Iraqi policy to influence French votes on the UN Security Council.

Supporters of President George W Bush accuse France of putting its foreign policy up for sale and opposing the invasion of Iraq for commercial reasons. That has been fiercely denied in Paris."

Transatlantic Intelligencer adds to good comments to this story.