A storm is brewing in the normally calm halls of Canberra, as the outspoken Senator Ross Lightfoot continues to defend allegations that he smuggled
$20,000 US into Iraq on behalf of oil giant, Woodside Petroleum. The Western Australian Senator seemingly contradicted himself today saying that he
had nothing to do with the donation. This was at odds with statements he made to radio yesterday.
Holes were emerging in senator Ross Lightfoot's defence against allegations he smuggled cash into Iraq, opposition foreign affairs spokesman Kevin
Rudd said today. The WA senator has vowed he will not resign over claims he smuggled $US20,000 ($25,000) into Iraq to help Kurds on behalf of oil
But Human Services Minister Joe Hockey backed his Liberal colleague. "Ross Lightfoot as a senator has made a statement to parliament and that's a
higher authority than a newspaper and we have to rely on it," Mr Hockey told Seven.
Labor's leader in the Senate, Chris Evans, said the government needed to consider whether Senator Lightfoot was an appropriate person to represent
Australians in parliament. "They have to explain what went on, why they are satisfied with this story and what they're going to do about it," he
told ABC radio.
Please visit the link provided for the complete story.
Just some clarification first, the Liberal Party in Australia is the centre-right government currently in office, led by PM John Howard. Labour is
the centre-left party now led by former defense minister Kim Beazley.
The allegations centered on the fact that Senator Lightfoot was suppose to be in Iraq to observe the elections on a tax-payer funded trip
instead it appears that he was there instead to hand out money to the kurds on behalf of Woodside. Senator Lightfoot claims that the money was to
re-build a hospital.
Further more, claims were made that he took a pistol and an AK-47 into the region (he was photographed with the AK standing next to Iraqis). Ross has
always being controversial, he was once quoted as saying that Aborigines in their native state were the "bottom colour of the civilisation
spectrum". He also supports Western Australia seceding from the Commonwealth of Australia. It seems like the fourth
term of the Howard
government will be interesting to say the least.
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[edit on 17-3-2005 by rapier28]