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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

New Zhirinovsky Claim on Iraq Oil

Millions of barrels of Iraqi oil allocated to Liberal Democratic Party leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky by former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein were ultimately purchased by U.S. oil company Bayoil, the Financial Times and Il Sole 24 Ore, an Italian business newspaper, reported Wednesday as part of a joint investigation.

Zhirinovsky and Bayoil have both been named as voucher recipients by U.S. investigators looking into the United Nations' oil-for-food program. But the Financial Times and Il Sole are the first to link Zhirinovsky and the U.S. oil company.

An earlier report by Charles Duelfer, the top U.S. arms inspector in Iraq, said Zhirinovsky received an allocation for 9 million barrels of Iraqi oil in 2000, which he passed on to Russian oil giant TNK.

Zhirinovsky has denied the reports.

But the Financial Times and Il Sole claim to have documentary evidence that Texas-based Bayoil bought oil from TNK during that period, and paid the company $546,000. On Nov. 15, a U.S. Senate investigation into the oil-for-food program produced a letter allegedly written by Zhirinovsky on LDPR stationery in which he invited a U.S. oil company to Moscow in 1999 to negotiate the sale of an oil voucher.