Saddam's Words Heard at Texas Oilman's Trial

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NEW YORK (AP) - Jurors in the trial of a Houston oilman heard a taped meeting involving the businessman, Saddam Hussein and former Texas Governor John Connally.

Oscar S. Wyatt Jr. is accused of paying millions of dollars in kickbacks to Iraqi officials. Prosecutors say Wyatt cashed in on his friendship to garner lucrative oil contracts from the corrupt United Nations oil-for-food program.

They presented a tape and 10-page transcript Wednesday of a December 1990 meeting with Saddam, Connally and Wyatt.

Wyatt's defense lawyers say he was a hero who convinced Saddam to agree during the meeting to begin releasing dozens of Americans. Saddam had ordered several Americans held as potential shields in the event the United States decided to invade his country.

If convicted, the 83-year-old Wyatt could face more than 60 years in prison.