Thursday, February 03, 2005

Annan Disciplines Iraq Oil-For-Food Chief

UNITED NATIONS - Secretary-General Kofi Annan (news - web sites) ordered disciplinary action against the head of the U.N. oil-for-food program in Iraq (news - web sites) on Thursday, after a report sharply criticized Benon Sevan for "undermining the integrity" of the United Nations (news - web sites) through a "grave conflict of interest."

AP Photo

Reuters Photo
Slideshow Slideshow: U.N. Oil-for-Food Corruption Probe

The investigation report said Sevan solicited oil allocations from Saddam Hussein (news - web sites)'s regime on behalf of a trading company between 1998 and 2001, and it raised concerns he may have received kickbacks for the help.

Based on the report, Annan has decided to discipline Sevan and another U.N. official, Joseph Stephanides, who was chief of the U.N. Sanctions Branch, said Mark Malloch Brown, Annan's new chief of staff. Brown said the type of disciplinary action would be announced early next week but gave no details.

In its report released Thursday, the investigation led by former Federal Reserve (news - web sites) Chairman Paul Volcker accused Stephanides of "tainting" bidding for a contract. Stephanides now heads the Security Council Affairs Division in the U.N. Department of Political Affairs.

Allegations of corruption in the $60 billion oil-for-food program — which allowed sanctions-bound Iraq to sell oil to buy humanitarian supplies — have raised steady criticism from members of Congress.

Read the rest here.

This is the straw that breaks the Camel-Kabob's back!

Get the United States out of the United Nations!

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