But Alexi Giannoulias' family bank DID loan money four years ago to Saddam Hussein's arms dealer, Nahdmi Auchi, the 279th richest man in the world and now-convicted felon and Blagojevich accomplice Tony Rezko...
It's not guilt by association. It's guilt by financial records, Alexi.
More info from the Kirk campaign:
Reporter: “Is it true or not true about the bank loaning money to him?”
Giannoulias: “Come on, again, that’s political smokescreens, trying to link me to Saddam Hussein. It’s a Washington, DC guilt by association game.”
But Broadway Bank did loan money to Nadhmi Auchi: “On Feb. 14, 2006, newly obtained records show, the bank made a $22.75 million loan to a company called Riverside District Development LLC, whose owners, it turns out, included Rezko… Rezko's lawyers said his main partner in Riverside was General Mediterranean Holding, a Luxembourg company controlled by Iraq-born billionaire Nadhmi Auchi.” (Chicago Sun-Times, 8/2/10)
Get the Facts about Nadhmi Auchi:
In 1996, Belgium's Ambassador to Luxembourg claimed that the Banque Continentale du Luxembourg, which was jointly controlled by Auchi and BNP Paribas until 1994, had handled the personal bank accounts of Saddam Hussein. (“Iraqi-Born Billionaire Has Stake in Bank That Holds Oil-for-Food Funds,” New York Times, April 30, 2003)
In 1993, Pierfrancesco Battaglia, an Italian banker, swore in a statement that Auchi had bribed members of the Hussein government in order to secure the rights to build an oil pipeline from Iraq to Saudi Arabia. (“Iraqi-Born Billionaire Has Stake in Bank That Holds Oil-for-Food Funds,” New York Times, April 30, 2003) For this service, Auchi was paid "millions of dollars" in commissions, according to Battaglia. (“A tycoon, a Minister and Interpol,” The Observer, May 27, 2001) Battaglia called Auchi "one of the most important intermediaries in the affairs of Middle Eastern countries." (“Iraqi-Born Billionaire Has Big Stake in Bank That Holds Baghdad's Oil-for-Food Funds,” New York Times, April 30, 2003)
In 1980, Auchi was the middleman in a billion dollar sale of Italian naval warships to Saddam Hussein's Iraq. Auchi received a $23 million commission on the sale. (“A tycoon, a Minister and Interpol,” The Observer, May 27, 2001)
Auchi is barred from entering the United States and is deemed an undesirable alien by the State Department. (“Miracle in Philadelphia?,” New York Sun, April 16, 2008) Rezko attempted to intercede on Auchi's behalf in November of 2005. According to federal prosecutors, "Rezko directly appealed to the State Department and, it appears, asked certain Illinois government officials to do the same." (“Mysterious London-based billionaire in the background at political fundraiser Tony Rezko's trial,” Associated Press, April 14, 2008) He was ultimately unsuccessful. (“Obama's name in Rezko trial,” Sun Times, April 15, 2008)
In 2003, Nadhmi Auchi was convicted in France on counts of fraud and bribery in connection to the Elf Aquitane scandal. Executives of Elf-Aquitane, a French state-owned oil company, were found to have looted the company for hundreds of millions of dollars. (“Elf trial reveals moral vacuum,” BBC News, April 24, 2003)