BHP executives were warned by the US Government that they could face seven years’ jail for trying to negotiate a huge oil deal with Saddam Hussein in breach of UN sanctions, according to The Sydney Morning Herald (21/9/2006, p.9).
Iraq was offered oilfield rehab with proviso: A Department of Foreign Affairs report had revealed that when Norman Davidson Kelly took over BHP’s interests in Iraq he promised Saddam’s oil ministry he could help rehabilitate a key oilfield in breach of UN sanctions. But in a letter to the Iraqis, Davidson Kelly had insisted the Iraqis first needed to repay a $US8 million BHP debt by fraudulently inflating their wheat contracts with AWB.
Harley named as conduit for influence: Immediately after the Iraq war began, BHP Billiton and Tigris Petroleum had signed a deal to become joint venture partners in the Halfayah oil field with Shell Oil. In a memo outlining their plans for postwar Iraq, BHP Petroleum executives had suggested "exerting influence" on members of the US-led coalition in Iraq, including Australia, through one of its executives who was a leading member of the Liberal Party, Tom Harley.
Inquiry awaits AWB Tigris documents: More details on the Tigris deal are expected to be released next week as a result of the Federal Court on Monday having ordered the Australian Wheat Board to hand another 350 documents to the Cole inquiry.
The Sydney Morning Herald, 21/9/2006, p. 9
Source: Erisk Net