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Iraq Says to File Suits over UN Oil/Food Programme

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Iraq Says to File Suits over UN Oil/Food Programme



Iraq said on Sunday it would file lawsuits in U.S. courts against companies and individuals that "conspired to corrupt" the U.N. oil-for-food programme.

Government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said in a statement the government had decided to recover damages and wanted to make those who benefited illegally accountable.

The statement did not name any companies or individuals.

The U.N. programme was established to help Saddam Hussein's Iraq sell oil to buy humanitarian supplies while it was under U.N. sanctions due to its 1990 invasion of Kuwait.

But a U.N.-commissioned inquiry headed by former U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker found the programme was corrupted by 2,200 companies in 66 countries that paid $1.8 billion (902 millin pounds) in kickbacks to Iraqi officials to win supply deals.

The $67 billion oil-for-food programme began in 1996 and ended in 2003.

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