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Rezko Paid $1.5M Bribe For Iraq Contract?

More real life journalism from the dogged Chicago Sun-Times:

[AFP caption:] US Democratic presidential candidate Illinois Senator Barack Obama’s home in Chicago, Illinois.

Did Rezko pay big-bucks bribe for Iraqi contract?

$1.5 MIL. | Defense: New accusation is just regurgitation

March 5, 2008
BY NATASHA KORECKI Federal Courts Reporter nkorecki@suntimes.com

As questioning of potential jurors wrapped up Tuesday in the corruption trial of political fund-raiser Tony Rezko, a new accusation has surfaced that Rezko paid a $1.5 million bribe in an effort to win a $50 million business deal in Iraq.

In a court filing, Rezko’s lawyers say that prosecutors accused him in a closed-door meeting of paying the bribe to Aiham Alsammarae, Iraq’s former minister of electricity

In 2005, a start-up company owned in part by Rezko — Companion Security — won a $50 million contract from Iraq’s Ministry of Electricity to train Iraqi power-plant guards in the United States. The deal was left in limbo a month later because of a change in Iraq’s leadership.

Rezko — who’s accused of coercing bribes and kickbacks from companies seeking state of Illinois pension business — isn’t charged in connection with the Iraqi deal. But the disclosure illustrates the government’s interest in his overseas dealings…

In 2006, the Chicago Sun-Times disclosed that federal authorities were probing the relationship between Rezko and Alsammarae and looking into how Rezko secured the Iraqi contract.

At the time, Alsammarae was jailed on corruption charges in Iraq. He later fled the country and returned to his Chicago area home…

Alsammarae attended the Illinois Institute of Technology with Rezko in the late 1970s and early 1980s. He returned to Iraq in 2003.

Still, note how the name Barack (Hussein) Obama is conspicuously absent from this article.

But surely it would come as a shock to the sainted figure that his financial (as opposed to spiritual) mentor is making money from the immoral war in Iraq.

This article was posted by Steve on Wednesday, March 5th, 2008. Comments are currently closed.

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