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He said he had met with Saddam "exactly as many times as Donald Rumsfeld has met with him."
"The difference is Donald Rumsfeld met him to sell him guns and give him maps," Galloway said in his heated opening statement.
"I met him to try and bring about an end to sanctions, suffering and war, and on the second occasion, I met him to try and persuade him to allow Hans Blix and U.N. inspectors back into country."
Rumsfeld visited Baghdad to meet Saddam as President Reagan's Middle East envoy in the 1980s, when the U.S. sided with Iraq in its war with Iran. Blix was chief U.N. weapons inspector in Iraq before the war.
Galloway complained that the panel had determined his guilt without speaking to him.
"You have my name on lists provided to you... by the convicted bank robber and fraudster and con man Ahmed Chalabi, who many people, to their credit, in your country now realize played a decisive role in leading your country into the disaster in Iraq," Galloway told the panel.
LONDON: Maverick British politician George Galloway said Wednesday he broke a US trade sanction by smoking a Cuban cigar in Washington where he clashed with senators over charges he received Iraqi oil kickbacks.
“I did a bit of sanctions busting in Washington yesterday, I smoked a Havana cigar just like this one,” the 50-year-old Scotsman told a London rally of his left-wing, anti-war, political party Respect.
“I smoked it inside the Capitol building and I even blew the smoke at the White House,” he shouted above thunderous cheers and applause from hundreds of supporters. “And I think we blew them away, didn’t you?”—AFP