Committee on International Relations
U.S. House of Representatives
Henry J. Hyde, Chairman

CONTACT: Sam Stratman, (202) 226-7875, January 18, 2005

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Hyde Remarks on Conviction
of American in Oil-for-Food Scandal

(WASHINGTON) – U.S. Rep. Henry J. Hyde (R-IL), Chairman of the House International Relations Committee, commented Tuesday on the plea bargain and conviction of Samir Vincent, a U.S. citizen, implicated in criminal activity in the United Nations Oil-for-Food Program:

Today’s conviction of Mr. Vincent illustrates how seriously the United States regards those criminals drawn to the corrupt U.N. program, and the commitment by the Department of Justice to prosecute the guilty.

Today’s conviction provides fresh evidence of criminal efforts to undermine international sanctions targeting Saddam Hussein’s corrupt regime. Mr. Vincent’s plea agreement includes references to his efforts to lobby U.N. and U.S. officials for a weakening of Iraqi sanctions, a matter of urgent and grave concern to this Committee.

The U.N., and member governments whose citizens are also implicated in crimes, must demonstrate a comparable resolve to expose the ugly truth about corruption and mismanagement of the program.

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