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Newly found Iraqi files raise heat on British MP

Documents indicate payments of more than $10 million for support of Labour Party official.

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Editor's note: Documents at the center of the allegations contained in this article have since been shown to be forgeries. The story detailing that Monitor conclusion is available here: The Monitor therefore acknowledges that the allegations in the documents are false and has apologized to Mr. Galloway for their publication and for the embarrassment and distress caused to him. To underline the sincerity of this apology, the Monitor has paid Mr. Galloway a sum in damages.

A fresh set of documents uncovered in a Baghdad house used by Saddam Hussein's son Qusay to hide top-secret files detail multimillion dollar payments to an outspoken British member of parliament, George Galloway.

Evidence of Mr. Galloway's dealings with the regime were first revealed earlier this week by David Blair, a reporter for the Daily Telegraph in London, who discovered documents in Iraq's Foreign Ministry.

The Labour Party MP, who lambasted his party's prime minister, Tony Blair, in parliamentary debates on the war earlier this year, has denied the allegations. He is now the focus of a preliminary investigation by British law-enforcement officials and is under intense scrutiny in the British press, where the story has been splashed across the front pages.

The most recent - and possibly most revealing - documents were obtained earlier this week by the Monitor. The papers include direct orders from the Hussein regime to issue Mr. Galloway six individual payments, starting in July 1992 and ending in January 2003.

The payments point to a concerted effort by the regime to use its oil wealth to win friends in the Western world who could promote Iraqi interests first by lifting sanctions against Iraq and later in blocking war plans.

The leadership of Hussein's special security section and accountants of the President's secretive Republican Guard signed the papers and authorized payments totaling more than $10 million.


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