Update: Oct. 1st, the WSJ is reporting that Oscar Wyatt Jr. has Pleaded GUILTY.
The plea deal calls for Mr. Wyatt to be sentenced to 18 to 24 months in prison, unless the judge decides otherwise. He also has agreed to forfeit $11 million.
The Houston Chronicle still seems to be the only newspaper reporting on this rather interesting court case. While our mainstream media focus in on 'OJ getting squeezed', 83 year old former Coastal Corp CEO, Oscar Wyatt Jr., is charged with funneling millions of dollars to Saddam during the UN oil for food program. Not Treason, but for fraud and conspiracy. If convicted on all counts he could be sentenced to 74 years in prison.
Former Iraqi strongman Saddam Hussein told Houston oilman Oscar Wyatt in 1995 that the ranks of Iraq's friends had dwindled so dramatically during the years of economic sanctions he could count them on one hand, former consultant Samir Vincent testified today.
"You are one of them," Saddam told Wyatt, Vincent said.
Wyatt replied, "I appreciate the gesture, Mr. President. I feel the same way about Iraq," Vincent testified.
Vincent testified last week that he accompanied Wyatt on seven or eight trips to Iraq between 1991 and 1997, including a trip capped off by an April 1, 1995 audience with Saddam. Prosecutors showed a picture said to show Saddam sitting with Wyatt, Vincent and former Iraqi government leader Tariq Aziz.
Vincent testified today said that sometime in 1994 or 1995 he and Wyatt flew on a plane to Amman, Jordan, with a crate containing satellite equipment. The crate was strapped to seats aboard the plane, Vincent said.
When they arrived in Amman on their way to Baghdad, Vincent said, officials from Iraq's embassy there took the crate. And eventually, the equipment was installed at the offices of Iraq's State Oil Marketing Organization or SOMO in Baghdad, Vincent said.
The Iraqis later complained, however, they were having trouble with a faulty bolt on a satellite dish after it had been installed on the roof of SOMO's offices, Vincent said. Vincent testified he then brought the problematic bolt back to the United States and turned it over to officials at Wyatt's company, Houston-based Coastal Corp.
who was in that address book? The infamous 50 million dolllar tax evader and Scooter Libby longtime client, Mark Rich.
In a court filing this week, Wyatt's lawyers said Wyatt was returning to Houston and went through Customs screening at Intercontinental. The address book, the filing said, "was missing from his briefcase when he arrived at his office."
A document filed with the motion and identified as a Customs Service "custody receipt for retained or seized property" said the address book was found at the airport's international terminal. The receipt contained the notation "possible sanction violations." 9/14/07
The address book contains the name of Marc Rich, who fled the country after being charged with tax evasion and fraud. In one of his last acts as president, Clinton pardoned the fugitive financier, touching off a firestorm.
The lawyers said letting jurors see the entry would be "totally irrelevant and inflammatory."
"Wyatt's relationship with Rich, if any, adds nothing to the government's allegations of prohibited transactions with Iraq except the prejudicial association of their suspect with a notorious felon," the lawyers wrote.
My related post
Saddam Hussein Speaks from the Grave
Same Players. Different Scandals.