The release of the AWB’s draft apology for the oil for food scandal has changed the entire dynamic of the Cole Inquiry.

The document appears to contradict the evidence the former AWB boss Andrew Lindberg has given to Cole. Lindberg is now expected to be summoned back to the inquiry and put in the witness box for a further grilling.

“Had the confession been delivered it would have saved months of work by the Cole inquiry, millions of dollars in legal fees and perhaps Mr Lindberg’s job,” David Marr writes in The SMH today. “Instead, AWB executives opted to pursue a strategy of amnesia and denial… The single-page draft was one of the great finds of the inquiry… The Lindberg draft confession casts doubt on the forgetfulness key executives showed in the Cole inquiry’s witness box…”

Indeed. If charges are laid as a result of the inquiry, they could now be more serious. They could include perjury. That increases the political pain from the AWB affair. Interesting, when leadership speculation is in the air.

But at least yesterday’s revelations should also mean that there will be a delay before Cole hands down his findings. That should give the Prime Minister – and his Deputy PM and the Foreign Minister – a little more time to consider their future plans.

CRIKEY: Meanwhile, we’ve stumbled across this intriguing AWB video for kids