Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Giannoulias Dodges Question on Auchi

Fox last night,

Guilty or whatever, the billionaire Auchi quite an associate.

The Kirk Presser,
Reporter: “Is it true or not true about the bank loaning money to him?”

Giannoulias: “Come on, again, that’s political smokescreens, trying to link me to Saddam Hussein. It’s a Washington, DC guilt by association game.”

But Broadway Bank did loan money to Nadhmi Auchi: “On Feb. 14, 2006, newly obtained records show, the bank made a $22.75 million loan to a company called Riverside District Development LLC, whose owners, it turns out, included Rezko… Rezko's lawyers said his main partner in Riverside was General Mediterranean Holding, a Luxembourg company controlled by Iraq-born billionaire Nadhmi Auchi.” (Chicago Sun-Times, 8/2/10)

Get the Facts about Nadhmi Auchi:

  • In 1996, Belgium's Ambassador to Luxembourg claimed that the Banque Continentale du Luxembourg, which was jointly controlled by Auchi and BNP Paribas until 1994, had handled the personal bank accounts of Saddam Hussein. (“Iraqi-Born Billionaire Has Stake in Bank That Holds Oil-for-Food Funds,” New York Times, April 30, 2003)

  • In 1993, Pierfrancesco Battaglia, an Italian banker, swore in a statement that Auchi had bribed members of the Hussein government in order to secure the rights to build an oil pipeline from Iraq to Saudi Arabia. (“Iraqi-Born Billionaire Has Stake in Bank That Holds Oil-for-Food Funds,” New York Times, April 30, 2003) For this service, Auchi was paid "millions of dollars" in commissions, according to Battaglia. (“A tycoon, a Minister and Interpol,” The Observer, May 27, 2001) Battaglia called Auchi "one of the most important intermediaries in the affairs of Middle Eastern countries." (“Iraqi-Born Billionaire Has Big Stake in Bank That Holds Baghdad's Oil-for-Food Funds,” New York Times, April 30, 2003)

  • In 1980, Auchi was the middleman in a billion dollar sale of Italian naval warships to Saddam Hussein's Iraq. Auchi received a $23 million commission on the sale. (“A tycoon, a Minister and Interpol,” The Observer, May 27, 2001)

  • Auchi is barred from entering the United States and is deemed an undesirable alien by the State Department. (“Miracle in Philadelphia?,” New York Sun, April 16, 2008) Rezko attempted to intercede on Auchi's behalf in November of 2005. According to federal prosecutors, "Rezko directly appealed to the State Department and, it appears, asked certain Illinois government officials to do the same." (“Mysterious London-based billionaire in the background at political fundraiser Tony Rezko's trial,” Associated Press, April 14, 2008) He was ultimately unsuccessful. (“Obama's name in Rezko trial,” Sun Times, April 15, 2008)

  • In 2003, Nadhmi Auchi was convicted in France on counts of fraud and bribery in connection to the Elf Aquitane scandal. Executives of Elf-Aquitane, a French state-owned oil company, were found to have looted the company for hundreds of millions of dollars. (“Elf trial reveals moral vacuum,” BBC News, April 24, 2003)
I don't know about Auchi's Baath and Saddam history, but the guy who bailed out Rezko: Ahyim Alsammare, has the unsavory side. Talisman's Gate via The Real Barack Obama,

Ayham Alsammarae, Iraq’s slimy ex-Minister of Electricity under the Bremer and Allawi administrations, who had escaped from an Iraqi prison by hiring an American security company to break him out back in December 2006, has resurfaced in the Jordanian capital Amman where he gave a press conference today saying, among other things, that he hoped that the insurgency in Iraq “would continue [against U.S. occupation] and avenges the Iraqi people.”

Alsammarae, an Iraqi-American Chicagoan, added during remarks carried by Radio Sawa (Arabic link) that he had contributed the maximum allowable of $2,300 to Barack Obama’s campaign. But there’s another Obama link to Alsammarae: while serving as electricity minister Alsammarae had been involved in brokering deals in the Iraqi electricity sector for Antoin Rezko, Obama’s long-term friend and patron. Rezko is the Syrian-American hustler who was convicted of fraud in an Illinois court on the day that Obama secured the Democratic nomination. [...]

In an astounding and blatantly treasonous assertion for a U.S. citizenship holder, he stated that “the [insurgency] in Iraq is a legitimate resistance [movement] and it is against occupation and any resistance in the world against occupation is considered legitimate, and I hope that the [insurgency] continues and avenges the Iraqi people and I look forward to expanding its political agenda.”

Auchi and Alsammarae, a heck of pair to stand up and applause.

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