Skip to comments.Firm's Checks to Annan's Son Went on for Years-UN ( UNScam Followup )
Posted on 11/26/2004 3:12:28 PM PST by the_gospel_of_thomas
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The son of U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan (news - web sites) got monthly payments more than four years longer than was previously known from a Swiss firm that won a lucrative contract under the scandal-ridden U.N. oil-for-food program, the United Nations (news - web sites) said on Friday.
Kojo Annan, the U.N. leader's son, was paid $2,500 monthly -- a total of $125,000 -- by Geneva-based Cotecna from the beginning of 2000 through last February, as part of an agreement not to compete with Cotecna in West Africa after he left the firm, U.N. chief spokesman Fred Eckhard said.
There have been no specific charges of wrongdoing on the part of the secretary-general in the world body's December 1998 award to Cotecna of a multimillion-dollar contract to monitor Iraqi imports under the oil-for-food program.
But the disclosure of the extra years of payments renewed questions about conflicts of interest and left Annan and his staff looking inept in their handling of the matter.
The program, which let Iraq (news - web sites) export oil and use the proceeds to buy food and other goods despite a U.N. ban on oil sales, was shut down after last year's U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.
Congressional investigators say Saddam Hussein (news - web sites)'s regime reaped over $21 billion from kickbacks and oil smuggling before and during the time the now-defunct program was in operation.
But most allegations center on private companies and governments and not on Annan or the United Nations.
The additional 50 months of payments to Kojo Annan were disclosed in Friday's New York Sun newspaper. It said the information had been confirmed by his lawyer.
ANNAN DENIES WRONGDOING
The United Nations had previously disclosed that Kojo Annan was given monthly $2,500 payments only through the end of 1999 after leaving Cotecna at the end of 1998. Cotecna approved the payments just days after the contract was awarded.
Kofi Annan and the United Nations have previously denied any wrongdoing or ethical lapse in awarding the contract.
"Neither he (Kojo Annan) nor I had anything to do with the contract with Cotecna," Annan said in April. "That was done in strict accordance with U.N. rules and financial regulations."
The contract was repeatedly extended by the United Nations and ultimately shifted to the U.S.-led administration that governed Iraq after the 2003 invasion, which renewed the pact through June 2004, when a new government took over in Baghdad.
But Eckhard said on Friday that only former U.S. Federal Reserve (news - web sites) Chairman Paul Volcker, who heads an independent panel named by the United Nations to investigate the program, could now say whether any irregularities had occurred.
"We have learned in the last two or three days that this no-compete contractual arrangement lasted much longer than we had been told. We don't know why there is this discrepancy between what Cotecna told us and what now has been confirmed by Kojo Annan's lawyer," Eckhard said.
Asked whether the secretary-general had contacted his son on the matter, Eckhard declined comment. "You want to drag the son into the father's business, and the father's business is now in the hands of Mr. Volcker," he said.
Contacted in Geneva. Cotecna spokesman Seth Goldschlager said the firm had informed the Volcker panel of the payments and there was "nothing out of line or illegal" about them.
He said Cotecna won its first oil-for-food contract in 1992, before Kofi Annan led the United Nations and before Kojo Annan worked for the company.
But Saddam Hussein's government blocked that contract because it called for Cotecna to inspect all imports rather than simply ensure their paperwork was in order -- the system that ultimately prevailed in Iraq, Goldschlager said.
why is reuters throwing kofi under the bus?
"inept" is reuter-speak for complicit.
Could it be because Bill Clinton wants to be SG of the UN?
Seriously though, Kofi Anan is corrupt? Get out!
I read that new book, King of Con, describes how charity money did not exactly go the the intended recepients. It, instead, went to greedy politicians and spoiled and pamped celebs.
How's that for their feel your pain and heart felt sincerity towards ones that need help?
They are stealing from the poor.
I hope to goodness that this scandal becomes a full-blown holocaust for Kofi and the entire United Nations. I've felt for years that the U.N. would make a nice hotel.
Are are the hired help at he Annan residence covered by work permits and green cards????
you mean you were kidding?
actually, it might be some setup in the works...whoever it is...I know that the rabid left, unable to captured the US via the Democratic party, is as power hungry as ever and probably is looking for another body to inhabit.
We must end U.S. involvement in this corrupt organization of tyrants, socialists, and America-haters. Get the United Nations out of the U.S. and get the U.S. out of the United Nations!
Seriously though, Kofi Anan is corrupt? Get out! <<<
I doubt you meant to imply that you weren't serious in stating BC wants to lead the UN.
Personally, I think he seriously wants it, and that could be as seriously bad for the US as Kerry's election would have been.
The UN is a nest of corruption with no regard for the US - with Bill leading them, they would be far more dangerous. Bill cares little for anything except his power - and his power to do the US harm as leader of the UN would be immense.
Dittos for WTO, World Bank, etc. (and all those other so called international organizations).
I'll vote for any referendum to boot the UN HQ out of the United States and / or withdraw from the UN.
Basically, after we kill all the terrorists, it's us against China in an economic war.
exactly, i know here it is not surprising at all to hear of UN corruption but its amazing to think that many others think the UN is a "good guy."
I'm all for it but how do we do it?
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