Monday, March 07, 2005

Volcker, who has released one explosive report on the scandal-tainted program last month, is preparing a second one on work that Annan's son, Kojo, did for a company that had a contract with the United Nations in Iraq.

Among the allegations is that Kojo Annan, was paid a total of $125,000 by Geneva-based firm Cotecna, which inspected goods coming to Iraq. U.N. officials have denied Annan was aware or involved in contract negotiations and the payments were not related to Iraq.

Morden said the interim report on Annan would be "released within weeks not months." The final probe is expected in mid-year.

Under the oil-for-food program, which began in December 1996 and ended in November 2003, former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein was allowed to sell oil to buy civilian goods in order to ease the impact of 1990 sanctions on ordinary Iraqis.
. . . .
he Volcker commission has not produced its own analysis of how much money was subverted from the $67 billion program but has leaned toward an authoritative report by Charles Duelfer, the postwar weapons inspector for the CIA.

Duelfer said close to $2 billion in illicit funds came through the program and nearly $8 billion came from oil smuggling outside the program, with Jordan and Turkey and especially Syria, which the U.N. Security Council knew about.

It will be interesting to see what this report says about Kofi Annan's knowledge - or involvement - in this scandal. But regardless, the U.N. won't recover from this scandal for a long time, if ever.

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