Tuesday October 25, 2005
George Galloway this morning denied lying to a US senate committee, challenged his accusers to charge him with perjury and said he was willing to return to Washington to clear his name.
Mr Galloway, the Respect MP for Bethnal Green and Bow, was responding to a report by a US senate committee headed by Republican senator Norm Coleman. The report alleges that Mr Galloway received kickbacks from the UN’s oil-for-food programme in Iraq, and lied to an earlier senate investigation when he said this was not the case.
Asked on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme about payments made by his business associate Fawaz Zureikat to his estranged wife’s bank account, Mr Galloway said he could not answer and was “completely bemused” by the reports.
However, he said: “I did not lie under oath in front of the senate committee.
“Indeed, it was the power of my truth in front of the senate committee which has got the senator so scorned that he has returned to this sneak attack.”
Mr Galloway said he had not seen the report and accused the committee of “being cavalier with any idea of process and justice”.
“But I’m still willing to go to the United States and still willing to face any charge of perjury in front of that senate committee,” he said.
“I’m demanding that they charge me with contempt and with perjury, I’m demanding it.
“If a senate committee can go on the international airwaves without putting this to you, without sending me an advance and accuse me of lying under oath in front of a senate committee, then I demand they charge me with perjury and I’ll be in the next plane to face it.”