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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In a more recent Telegraph report based on a memorandum from May 2, 2000, Hussein is said to have rejected a request from Galloway for more money, saying his "exceptional" demands were not affordable.Skip to next paragraph
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The letter, found in the foreign ministry files, refers to the date and reference number of the intelligence chief's memo, which asked for Hussein's decision on Galloway's alleged requests.
That memo would have come nearly a month after one of the six letters - obtained by the Monitor - from Qusay's cabinet detailing a payment on April 4, 2000. That payment also references Galloway's "courageous and daring stands towards the oppressive blockade and in support of our courageous and patient people who violently oppose all enemies of Iraq and its leaders..."
Another payment authorization on July 27, 1999, states the money is being given upon "agreement of Sayid Qusay Saddam Hussein (the president's son) who has supervision over the Republican Guard." It calls the $1 million payment a reward for Galloway's support in trying to repeal the "unjust blockade on our beloved country and for his firm stand against the prime minister of Britain, the criminal Blair."
The two earliest payments, in July of 1992 and October of 1993, are noted down on green stationary as having already been delivered. For example, the October payment states, "kindly be informed of the issuing of a gratuity by the esteemed leader President Saddam Hussein (may Allah protect and guide him) to Mr. George Galloway in the amount of $600,000." It says the money was handed over to him by the representative of the directorate of the Special Security Organization, Colonel Shawki. Thursday, the US Marines had surrounded the house of Colonel Shawki. His neighbors said he might have already fled to Syria.
The general who gave access to the documents - General "S" - was until a decade ago a general in the regular Iraqi army but was attached to the Republican Guard. He was subsequently jailed on three occasions. He claims the government punished him because he is a Shiite, by assassinating his wife, three daughters, and one brother.
General "S" was determined to make up for his losses. What he really wanted back, however, was the deeds to the three homes taken from him. He planted his own driver as a spy in the guards of Qusay and followed the presidential paper trail when it moved to the suburbs in March.
On April 8, when US forces prepared to storm the capital, he rounded up six men who had served in prison with him and set out for the house.
He took possession of items including computer printouts that give the names, biographies, and residences of Hussein's most trusted Republican Guard officers. Also in the files is information on chemists who worked in the Iraqi biological-weapons program.
He also, unexpectedly, found documents discussing Kuwaiti prisoners still in Iraq and the ones that noted specific payments of money to Galloway. There was also a document detailing the biographies of Qusay's most trusted assassins.
One of The Monitor's interpreters was a fellow inmate of the general in Hussein's political prison. When the interpreter visited him several days ago, the general mentioned the documents he held.
The general had been most interested in discussing the Kuwaiti file. When the Monitor's reporter and the interpreter arrived to speak with him, he mentioned the Galloway material in passing.
• Mark Rice-Oxley contributed to this report from London.