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South African company to sue UN over oil-for-food findings

[JURIST] South African oil company Imvume on Thursday announced plans to file a lawsuit against UN's Independent Inquiry Committee (IIC) [official website] in response to its allegations that the company provided illegal kick-backs to the Iraqi government in the now defunct UN oil-for-food program [JURIST news archive]. According to the IIC report [text; JURIST report], Imvume paid a "surcharge" in order to secure a contract to purchase two million barrels of oil from the Iraqi government. Representatives for Imvume assert that the allegations were defamatory and damaging to the company. IOL has more. Also Thursday, India announced its plans [press release] to launch an investigation into IIC findings that implicated India's ruling Congress party. The IIC concluded that Foreign Minister Natwar Singh [official profile], as well as India's Congress party, were a part of an international scheme in which political leaders were given vouchers for Iraqi oil which could then be sold on the open market. In Thursday's announcement, the Indian government stated it was launching its own investigation into the program because the facts alleged in the IIC's report were insufficient to implicate the Indian government. Reuters has more.

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