I still want to know who bought Ritter off.
......Shakir al-Khafaji was a ruthless negotiator who aggressively pursued his payments when the company fell behind, according to Italtech executives. The Italians say that one day he arrived unannounced at Mr Giangrandi’s office in Abu Dhabi, accompanied by bodyguards. “It was a surprise visit: he wanted his commission. It was, let’s say, unusual,” says Mr Giangrandi. Another Italtech executive adds: “He knocked at the door with two tough guys. Augusto was terrified and arranged for Shakir to be paid in Geneva.”
Mr Khafaji acknowledges that he had problems with the payment of the commission and that he went to Abu Dhabi, but says he went there alone.
A copy of an Italtech accounting document shows that on November 17 2000, Bayoil transferred $1m to Italtech’s Geneva account. On the same day, it records Italtech made a “payment” of the same amount; a note, hand-written by an Italtech executive, identifies the recipient as “Shaker Al Khafagi”. The original document is in the hands of the Italian authorities.
Mr Khafaji says he worked alone when he sold the allocations and that he was selling them on behalf of his family. He also now says he did not have any associates in Jordan. But Mr Giangrandi says that Mr Khafaji introduced himself as Mr Ritter’s “partner” and that he was “representing his allocations”. Mr Giangrandi says he never met Mr Ritter. [Scott Ritter]
A copy of a handwritten fax dated July 10 2000, the same month that Mr Khafaji began funding Mr Ritter’s film, shows Mr Giangrandi passing on Mr Khafaji’s contact details to Mr Chalmers.
The note says: “Dear David. This is the partner of S. R. [Scott Ritter] with whom I am negotiating now the 5M B-L. He is a very influential person here, and we can do many things in the future with him. Regards, A. G.”
Mr Giangrandi confirmed that “S. R.” referred to Mr Ritter.
Mr Ritter insists he was never offered any allocations by the Iraqi government. But he does relate an incident when an Iraqi official from the UN mission in New York said he might be able to get funding for his film by “sending an oil contract through a French oil company”. Mr Ritter says he “terminated the conversation at this point”. .... ——— “Questions about former UN weapons inspector’s film” (Ritter)
Financial Times ^ | April 12, 2004 | Mark Turner
Whoever owned Simon & Schuster in the late 90s may also be a possibility.