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Federal jury convicts ex-lobbyist in first US oil-for-food trial

[JURIST] Former South Korean lobbyist Tongsun Park [personal website; Washington Post profile], was convicted Thursday on charges [JURIST report] of money laundering, conspiracy to commit wire fraud and acting as an unregistered agent of former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein. A federal jury in New York spent less than a day deliberating in Park's trial, the first resulting from a scandal surrounding the now-defunct UN oil-for-food program [JURIST news archive]. Prosecutors accused Park of receiving about $2 million from Hussein in exchange for convincing US and UN officials to remove sanctions against Iraq. Park, who faces up to five years' imprisonment, has requested that US District Judge Denny Chin [official profile] dismiss the case based on the statute of limitations.

In the 1970s, Park was indicted but never convicted of improperly influencing the US Congress in the Koreagate scandal [Wikipedia backgrounder]. Park was charged last month in a separate case with lying to the FBI [JURIST report] about his role in the adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 986 [PDF text], which established the oil-for-food program in 1995. Reuters has more.

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