Jury selection will begin this week in the trial of Oscar S. Wyatt Jr., a wealthy Texas oilman accused of conspiring to pay millions of dollars in kickbacks to Saddam Hussein’s regime to win contracts under the United Nations’ oil-for-food program.

The 83-year-old Houston businessman is expected in court tomorrow when questioning of prospective jurors will occur. Defense attorneys said they want prospective jurors to hear that the case will contain evidence that Wyatt had business dealing with the Iraqi government as far back as the 1970s.

They also asked that the jurors be warned that Wyatt was an outspoken critic of President Bush and his administration’s policies in the Middle East. And they asked that all jurors answer one specific question: “How many of you have a negative impression about people from Texas who do business in the oil industry?”

Prosecutors say they want prospective jurors to answer whether they can judge fairly a case that will include evidence of words and actions by Saddam Hussein and members of his government in Iraq.

Wyatt could face more than 60 years in prison if convicted.

One Comment

  • Bush trying to silence his critics yet again.

    I wonder how many kickbacks the Bush family have had during the last 80 years and lets just start with Prescott Bushes dealings with the Nazi party during the 1930’s.

    Have we all forgotten the about “oil for food” scandal, I’m quite sure Bush and his cronies were involved in that coruptive scam.

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