AWB Faces Class Action Suit

Australian Wheat Board faces charges of contributing to crimes committed by Saddam Hussein.

Lawyers filed a class action suit in the United States District Court in New York on behalf of a group of Iraqi citizens against AWB Ltd. and AWB. The suit charges the wheat exporter of contributing to crimes inflicted between 1996 and 2003 by giving financial assistance to Saddam Hussein, through kickbacks on trade utilizing the "Oil for Food" program.

The injuries and damages alleged to have been suffered have not been specified. The AWB has not yet been served with the action, but says in a statement they will vigorously defend its position if the claim is served.

Separately, AWB has asked the U.S. District Court to dismiss the Boyd class action that was brought by a group of U.S. wheat growers. They have also begun their defense of a suit in the Federal Court of Australia, which is claiming damages for alleged non-disclosure of material information.

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