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UPDATED: 13:17, April 10, 2006
Australian PM to give statement on Iraq bribes
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Australian Prime Minister John Howard said on Monday he would provide a written statement the following day to an official inquiry probing the Australian wheat exporter AWB's involvement in bribing Saddam Hussein's former regime.

"I will provide that statement to the inquiry tomorrow, consistent with the request," Howard said. "As I have previously indicated, if I am asked to appear before the inquiry, I will be happy to do so."

The inquiry, headed by former Supreme Court judge Terence Cole, is investigating allegations that 220 million U.S. dollars' worth of kickbacks were paid by the AWB to Saddam Hussein's former government to obtain contracts through the United Nation's oil-for-food program.

Trade Minister Mark Vaile was due to testify to the inquiry on Monday and Foreign Minister Alexander Downer will appear on Tuesday.

Source: Xinhua

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