Sources: April 6, 2003, The Observer, 'So, Norman, any regrets this time?'; September 5, 2004, Sunday Times, 'Le Cercle of the elite'
Born in Iraq. Graduated in Economics and Political Science from the Mustansiriyah University, Baghdad in 1967. Worked with the Iraqi Ministry of Oil, becoming Director of Planning and Development. In 1979 he founded General Mediterranean Holding SA of Luxembourg. Auchi's business empire, which has assets worth more than £1bn, is held offshore in structures whose ownership is difficult to penetrate. His holding firm, General Mediterranean Holdings SA, is registered in Luxembourg, and the Luxembourg and EU politician Jacques Santer sits on its board (in 1999, the Santer (EU) Commission resigned from their posts after charges of corruption. Santer is a Bilderberger and a supporter of Opus Dei). Lord Lamont, the Rothschild associate who headed Le Cercle, used to be another employee of General Mediterranean Holdings.
Has links to British intelligence, through the former senior MI6 officer Anthony Cavendish (Le Cercle), who acts as a consultant to Auchi's business empire. Served on an advisory committee to the Institute for Social and Economic Policy in the Middle East at Harvardís Kennedy School of Government 1996-2000.
President of the Anglo-Arab Organisation (AAO) since its founding in 2002. The July 2004 meeting of the AAO was attended by Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, Michael Howard (Le Cercle), the Conservative Party leader and leader of the opposition, king Abdullah of Jordan, Sheikh Badawi (Islamic College of London), together with many political, business and media elite. During the 2004 AAO conference Auchi said: " [the organisation, at its core] is the desire to build on, and further enhance, the fruitful, warm and productive relations which have existed over so many centuries between the United Kingdom and the Arab world." Auchi stressed AAO's important role in furthering interfaith dialogue as well as supporting initiatives aimed at "further integration of the welcomed British Arab community into mainstream society." On one of the pictures Auchi is shaking hands with Prince Andrew and King Abdullah.
Another ambiguity of his relations with the UK is demonstrated by one of his mementos, hanging in pride of place in his office - a portrait of the houses of parliament which 130 MPs of all parties have signed. It was presented to him by the science minister, Lord Sainsbury, "on behalf of Tony Blair" at the 20th anniversary ceremony of his GMH company.
In November, 2003, Auchi was given a two-year suspended prison sentence for his involvement in the Elf scandal. A French court found him guilty of accepting £50 million worth of illegal commissions. He was also fined £1.4 million. In 2003, the Guardian and the Observer wrote a number of articles that Auchi has been involved in numerous corruption scandals and that he was a long supporter of, and arms supplier to, Saddam Hussein. Auchi later claimed these allegations were completely wrong, which led to the newspapers retracting their stories. During Gulf War II, Auchi was reported to have a full run on the palace in the Green Zone and met with "everyone important," including CPA top leader Paul Bremer. Auchi has also been named as a central figure in the U.N. oil-for-food program in which both the U.S. Congress and a special U.N. investigation have been looking after accusations of massive corruption and a missing $10 billion. In November 2003, Auchi was honoured by the Catholic Sacred Military Constantinian Order of Saint George and the Royal Order of Francis I.
"I think it would be a good idea." Mahatma Gandhi, when asked what he thought of Western civilization.
The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways; the point is to change it. Karl Marx.
"Well, he would, wouldn't he?" Mandy Rice-Davies, 1963, replied Ms Rice Davies when the prosecuting counsel pointed out that Lord Astor denied an affair or having even met her.