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Last Updated: Monday, 16 May 2005, 19:45 GMT 20:45 UK
Galloway arrives for US showdown
George Galloway at Heathrow Airport before departing for the US
Senators are creating diversions from 'real issues', says Mr Galloway
George Galloway has arrived in the United States ready to face the senators who have accused him of profiting from Saddam Hussein's regime.

The Respect MP for Bethnal Green & Bow is in Washington to appear before the Senate's investigative committee.

He denies using options to buy barrels of Iraqi oil, alleged to have been given as reward for supporting Saddam.

On his arrival from the UK, Mr Galloway described the committee's report as "a schoolboy dossier".

It was "full of holes, full of falsehoods", he said.

"I am not expecting any justice from the innards of the US government but I want to appear not as the accused but as the accuser."

He is not expecting a sympathetic hearing but hopefully the truth will out
Mr Galloway's spokesman Ron McKay

He added: "They seem blissfully unaware that for people in the rest of the world the villains of the peace in Iraq are them."

He said that included "George Bush, his government and the puppet administration they have installed in Baghdad, which is the source of these so-called documents".

Earlier on Monday, the MP told BBC Breakfast: "The truth is I have never bought or sold a drop of oil from Iraq, or sold or bought a drop of oil from anybody.

"If I had, I would be a very rich man and the person who made me rich would already be in the public domain."

Diversion claim

The US committee, which has made similar allegations against former French Interior Minister Charles Pasqua, has said it will be "pleased" for Mr Galloway to appear at the hearing.

The MP argues the committee wants to throw people's attention onto UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, himself and the French government.

He says he is angry the committee has found him guilty in its report without hearing him speak.

Charles Pasqua
Mr Pasqua issued a new denial after the report was published

A spokesman for committee chairman Senator Norm Coleman has denied Mr Galloway's claim that he repeatedly asked to give evidence during the investigation.

"At no time did Mr Galloway contact the permanent sub-committee on investigations by any means, including but not limited to telephone, fax, e-mail, letter, Morse code or carrier pigeon," Mr Coleman's office said in a statement.

French allegation

In December, Mr Galloway won 150,000 in libel damages from the Daily Telegraph over its separate claims he had received money from Saddam's regime.

The MP had denied ever seeking or receiving money from his government, which he said he had long opposed.

Last month the newspaper won permission to appeal against the ruling to pay the damages, plus 1.2m in costs.

The Senate committee's report also accused Mr Pasqua of receiving oil rights from Iraq.

Mr Pasqua - now a French senator, with immunity from criminal prosecution - said he had denied similar accusations in the past, and was denying them again.

The report claims both he and Mr Galloway were given potentially lucrative oil allocations as a reward for their support in calling for sanctions against the regime to be loosened.

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