[JURIST] Andrew Lindberg [corporate profile], chief executive of the Australian Wheat Board (AWB) [corporate website], has stepped down from his position as the Australian judicial inquiry [Cole Commission website] continues its fourth week of investigations into alleged Australian connections to the Iraqi oil-for-food scandal [JURIST news archive]. Lindberg has given up all responsibility within the company, and will officially resign on April 30.
Australian Prime Minister John Howard [official profile] ordered the inquiry after a United Nations report named AWB and some 2000 other companies among those which paid kickbacks to the Hussein regime [JURIST report] in Iraq. The UN report said that AWB paid more than any other company, allegedly paying out $220 million to secure $2.3 billion in contracts. AWB executives maintain that they were unaware of any illegal activity, claiming that they believed the money was used to cover the costs of transporting wheat. AFP has more.