Former AWB Boss Fined in Oil-for-Food Scandal
By John Lee.
The former managing director of Australian wheat exporter AWB has been fined 100,000 Australian dollars ($106,000) and banned from being a company director for two years for his role in paying kickbacks to Iraq’s former dictatorship under the discredited UN oil-for-food program.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the breaches related to Mr Andrew Lindberg’s failure to inform the the company’s board of matters related to the company’s relationship with the former Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein and details of allegations put to him by an UN inquiry into the oil-for-food scandal in 2005, following the fall of the Hussein regime.
Mr Lindberg said:
“I accept completely the judgment of the court … It’s been a long ordeal, six and a half years … I’ve never resiled from my responsibilities and I don’t do it now and I just want to get on with my life and do what I can …
“In any market, particularly overseas, when you deal with the third world countries, you’ve got to be very careful and it’s perhaps easier than you think to make mistakes.“
The wheat exporter paid $US230 million in kickbacks to the Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein, but Mr Lindberg’s four breaches of the Corporations Act rellate to his failure afterwards to properly investigate breaches of the UN oil-for-food program rules and bring them to the attention of the company’s board.
(Sources: Sydney Morning Herald, AP)