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The document, which contains costings and a number of photos of the senator, including one of him wielding an AK-47 assault rifle, provides a daily record of his travels.
"Sunday, January 23, 1pm: Arrived at Turkish border post.
"Officials were rude - passport stolen (DFAT in Australia was informed and offered every assistance), used official one.
"Paid driver US$140, air reeked with petroleum fumes - needed to breathe through a handkerchief. Six Peshmargas (Kurdish National Guards) met Mr Simko Halmet and me - fine young men."
"Monday, January 24: My party departed Arbil (sic) in two Nissan Patrols, six Iraqi National Guard soldiers all armed with AK-47s and pistols - young men in excellent physical condition.
Attention also turned to the potential political ramifications. The Coalition will hold the Senate by only one seat come July 1, and if the senator resigned or was forced from the party, the balance of power would be lost.
"The Prime Minister could have called an independent inquiry if he wanted to," Labor shadow treasurer Wayne Swan said. "He doesn't want to because he doesn't want to endanger a vote in the Senate."
Greens Senator Bob Brown also demanded an ASIC investigation of the matter.
In a sidelight to the saga, "Sell, sell, sell" were not the only words the veteran senator's stockbroker heard this week. Even as his role in the Iraqi money mission made national headlines, Senator Lightfoot was buying shares in companies exploring oil opportunities in Iraq.
DONATION TO IRAQ HOSPITAL Woodside Energy Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Woodside Petroleum Ltd., categorically rejects claims in today’s newspapers that Senator Ross Lightfoot travelled to Iraq on behalf of the company to make a cash donation to local authorities. Woodside has no relationship with Senator Lightfoot and he is wrong to assert any such relationship. In October 2004 Woodside agreed with Perth’s Curtin University to provide US$20,000 to the Halabjae Hospital in northern Iraq, using funds from the university’s Woodside Hydrocarbon Research Facility. The hospital treats children of victims of the 1988 gas attacks on Iraqi Kurds. The Woodside Hydrocarbon Research Facility is managed by Professor Robert Amin, an Iraqi Kurd who regularly makes charitable donations from funds raised by the facility. Woodside provided the funds for the Halabjae Hospital donation. The donation was properly made by Curtin University to a Kurdistan Regional Government (Sulaymaniyah) representative in Australia, Simco Halmet, to pass on to the hospital. Woodside was advised by Mr Halmet that the donation was formally handed over to the Kurdistan Regional Government in January 2005. The company received proper written acknowledgement of the donation from the Kurdistan Regional Government’s Minister of Health, Mohammed Qadir Khoshnav. The acknowledgement stated the donation would be used for buying five computers, building and electrical upgrades, bedding and other patient needs. The donation was in keeping with Woodside’s practice of providing funds for community projects in the areas in which it operates, including Australia.
The Senator further embarrassed the Howard Government by suddenly cashing in his Woodside shares, for a $4000 profit, this week, soon after learning his activities in Iraq were about to be revealed publicly.
Prime Minister John Howard left Senator Lightfoot largely to fend for himself yesterday, saying only that he was shocked by the revelations.
Mr Howard said he first became aware of the story as he watched the morning television news.
Originally posted by JoeDoaks
seems like a piker compared to U.S. standards.
Originally posted by Psychoses
My question is what the hell was he really doing in Iraq?
. . .
I can smell a dirty rat here. I doubt we'll ever find out the truth though, cause Howard has been taking political lessons from Bush for too long now.
LIBERAL senator Ross Lightfoot's companion on the mission to smuggle $US20,000 ($25,200) into Iraq for Woodside Petroleum has refused to produce the records which he says prove it was him, not the West Australian senator, who carried the cash.
Simko Halmet, the Australian representative of the Kurdish Regional Government, said if there were an investigation he would show pertinent bank statements and other documents to government officials.
"When the federal police come, I'll show them," he told The Australian yesterday.
Senator Lightfoot last week denied he had boasted to two News Limited journalists, including to this newspaper's Middle East correspondent Nicolas Rothwell, that he acted as a courier, taking part of the donation for a Kurdish hospital into Iraq after sewing it into the lining of his jacket.
The Labor Party has abandoned moves to refer allegations against Coalition Senator Ross Lightfoot to the parliamentary privileges committee, after he apologised to the Senate.
Earlier this year, Senator Lightfoot was accused of smuggling $25,000 into Iraq on behalf of Woodside Petroleum, an allegation he and Woodside have strenuously denied.
Labor had wanted the privileges committee to investigate whether Senator Lightfoot was in contempt of the Senate for failing to disclose that his trip to Iraq was paid for by the head of a research facility at Curtin University in Perth.
The facility is backed by Woodside Petroleum.
But Senator Lightfoot admitted his error in the Senate this afternoon.
"The airfare that was given to me to visit Iraq in July 2004 was not recorded on my Senator's interests - a failure that I take total responsibility for and I apologise unequivocally to the Senate," he said.