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Annan Didn't Disclose Key Contacts
AP ^ | 5/13/05 | JOHN SOLOMON and DESMOND BUTLER

Posted on 05/13/2005 3:24:49 PM PDT by mathprof

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan did not initially tell investigators in the oil-for-food probe that he met twice with representatives of his son's employer as the Swiss company began soliciting United Nations business.

Annan's omissions last November raised credibility concerns with the chief investigator, Robert Parton, that persisted even after Annan later provided his recollections about the meetings. Investigators had uncovered the contacts in calendars recovered from computers, according to interviews and documents reviewed by The Associated Press.

Parton sought to make an issue of Annan's veracity, concluding the U.N. chief wasn't initially forthcoming and his story evolved as new facts emerged. Parton also noted Annan's account sometimes conflicted with other witnesses deemed credible. Drafts of Parton's report, however, were substantially revised.

The three-member committee that supervised Parton used a different tone when it laid out the discrepancies in the version of the report released to the public two months ago. "He had checked the records and now remembered the meeting," the final report said about one of the meetings Annan hadn't originally disclosed.

The final report also didn't mention that Annan had originally denied knowing one of his son's business associates with whom he had had lunch. Nor did it mention that the business associate testified that he specifically discussed Kojo Annan's interest in doing business in Iraq with the U.N. chief.

Kofi Annan's lawyer acknowledged Friday that his client didn't provide or recall certain information about 6-year-old events during his first interview with investigators last November, blaming it on poor preparation.

"During many different meetings with the panel and its counsel, the Secretary-General took pains to answer questions truthfully and completely. In his first interview, however, Mr. Annan had no advance knowledge of the specific topics of greatest concern to the panel and had not prepared himself adequately," attorney Greg Craig said.

"For later interviews, he reviewed his schedule, his calendar, his appointment logs and other records, and was able to provide additional information to the Committee."

Parton's lawyer, Lanny Davis, declined comment, citing a judge's order barring him from disclosing any information recently provided to Congress under a subpoena.

Paul Volcker, the chief of the Independent Inquiry Committee, has acknowledged that there was debate among his investigators about how to interpret its findings on Annan, but denied leaving out any material facts.

Annan has maintained he didn't know his son's company got oil-for-food business until after it was awarded in December 1998 and a newspaper reported it the following month. The final version of the investigative report released March 29 concluded there wasn't evidence the U.N. chief tried to influence the world body's decisions to benefit his son's business interests.

The House International Relations Committee is poring over boxes of documents and audiotapes that Parton provided this month under a subpoena after resigning in protest as the lead investigator in the case.

Parton was charged with determining how the U.N. came to award business from its oil-for-food humanitarian program in Iraq in December 1998 to Cotecna, the Swiss firm that employed Annan's son Kojo.

Parton's acrimonious departure from the U.N. probe has turned into a legal battle, with the U.N. trying, unsuccessfully, to stop its former investigator from complying with the subpoena to provide his investigative files to Congress.

Those files provide a detailed account of what Annan told investigators and when, and show the frictions over how to interpret evidence that ensued between Parton and the three-member committee, led by Volcker, that supervised his work.

In his first of four interviews with investigators, Annan did not disclose last November that he met in September 1998 with his son Kojo and Cotecna consultant Pierre Mouselli — and then, two weeks later, with Cotecna's chief executive Eli Massey — as the company was gearing up to bid for business under the oil-for-food program.

Annan generally acknowledged in the first interview that he knew Massey — referring to him as "the old man" — and occasionally met with him, including once in 1999, several months after Cotecna won the U.N. contract.

In a subsequent interview in January after consulting the calendars that were turned over to Parton, Annan divulged he met twice with Massey before the Cotecna contract was awarded, including on Sept. 18, 1998.

But the U.N. chief testified that the meeting did not involve Cotecna's pursuit of oil-for-food business. Instead, he said, the two discussed an idea Massey had for an international lottery to raise money for the U.N.; Annan said he referred Massey to another official to discuss the idea further.

The U.N. chief also indicated he didn't recall a man named Pierre Mouselli, though he said he often doesn't recall people he meets casually in his high-profile job. The final report makes no mention of Annan's November denial about Mouselli.

During a March 17 interview, Annan was quizzed about a calendar entry indicating he had a "private lunch" on Sept. 4, 1998, with his son Kojo and "his friend" during a world conference in Durban, South Africa.

By that time, Parton had already learned that the friend was Mouselli, a businessman who, like Kojo Annan, was working as a consultant with Cotecna.

Parton also secured testimony from Mouselli stating that he and the Annans had discussed at the South African lunch that Kojo Annan and Mouselli were setting up companies and were interested in business, including Iraq. The final report said Mouselli's account of the meeting couldn't be verified elsewhere.

In the March interview, Kofi Annan said he did in fact remember a "brief encounter" he had in Durban with his son and a friend, whom he described as a Lebanese businessman whose first name might have been Pierre.

But despite his own calendar notation, the elder Annan insisted he still could not recall having lunch, the last name of the friend or any discussion of his son's business endeavors during the encounter.

The final report also excluded detailed testimony from Mouselli that he and the Annans discussed their interest in Iraq business. "We discussed Iraq," Mouselli told the AP in an interview this week. "We discussed about even my way to go to Iraq. ... We were joking if Kojo wants to come."


TOPICS: Breaking News; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: annan; cotecna; elimassey; flimflamman; gregcraig; kojo; oilforfood; pierremouselli; snakeoil; uncorruption; volcker
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1 posted on 05/13/2005 3:24:49 PM PDT by mathprof
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To: mathprof

Annan...Coleman is going to chew you up and spit you out.


2 posted on 05/13/2005 3:26:08 PM PDT by Peach
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To: mathprof

Cotecna replaced Lloyd's Register about the same time Annan replaced Boutros-Ghali, if I recall correctly. I think Oil For Food was a planned scam from the get-go.


3 posted on 05/13/2005 3:26:30 PM PDT by mewzilla
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To: mathprof
Is this not the Clinton technique? post bad news at 630pm on Friday afternoon.
4 posted on 05/13/2005 3:26:52 PM PDT by SF Republican
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To: Peach

Senator Coleman was on the local radio this morning and GUARANTEED that Kofi Annan will not finish his term


5 posted on 05/13/2005 3:28:27 PM PDT by Spruce
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To: mathprof; Shermy; cyncooper
Parton also secured testimony from Mouselli stating that he and the Annans had discussed at the South African lunch that Kojo Annan and Mouselli were setting up companies and were interested in business, including Iraq. The final report said Mouselli's account of the meeting couldn't be verified elsewhere.

In the March interview, Kofi Annan said he did in fact remember a "brief encounter" he had in Durban with his son and a friend, whom he described as a Lebanese businessman whose first name might have been Pierre.

But despite his own calendar notation, the elder Annan insisted he still could not recall having lunch, the last name of the friend or any discussion of his son's business endeavors during the encounter.

The final report also excluded detailed testimony from Mouselli that he and the Annans discussed their interest in Iraq business. "We discussed Iraq," Mouselli told the AP in an interview this week. "We discussed about even my way to go to Iraq. ... We were joking if Kojo wants to come."

Is this as bad as I think it is?

6 posted on 05/13/2005 3:28:28 PM PDT by Dog (Freeping since the crack of doom....)
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To: Spruce

If ever there was a guarantee I'd like to hold someone to, it's that one!


7 posted on 05/13/2005 3:29:00 PM PDT by Peach
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To: Dog
But despite his own calendar notation, the elder Annan insisted he still could not recall having lunch, the last name of the friend or any discussion of his son's business endeavors during the encounter.

Dare he invoke the Josh Steiner defense?

8 posted on 05/13/2005 3:36:41 PM PDT by gov_bean_ counter
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To: mewzilla

I think you are correct with that timing. It's about time for all the roaches to scatter.


9 posted on 05/13/2005 3:40:52 PM PDT by Fudd Fan (Theodore: the GOOD Roosevelt)
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To: mathprof

"Annan's omissions last November raised credibility concerns with the chief investigator, Robert Parton...."


That's because any investigator worth spit (which Volcker is not!) would understand that failing to volunteer such info when supposedly "fully cooperating" with the investigation means that Annan was stonewalling and would only provide information when absolutely forced to by revelations from other sources.... how many other key items would Annan conveniently 'forget' unless confronted with evidence from other sources??? And how many key facts are STILL not accessible because only Annan and a few other stonewallers are aware of them?


10 posted on 05/13/2005 3:42:30 PM PDT by Enchante (Kerry's mere nuisances: Marine Barracks '83, WTC '93, Khobar Towers, Embassy Bombs '98, USS Cole!!!)
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To: SF Republican

Why do you consider this bad news?


11 posted on 05/13/2005 3:45:18 PM PDT by Txsleuth ( Mark Levin for Supreme Court Justice)
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To: Enchante

Every time I think I cannot be more disgusted at the corruption at the UN, I am. This is a sick, morally-bankrupt bunch and they are all just a joke. Sen.Coleman remains in my prayers.


12 posted on 05/13/2005 3:45:59 PM PDT by Fudd Fan (Theodore: the GOOD Roosevelt)
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To: Txsleuth
Why do you consider this bad news? Bad news for Kofi
13 posted on 05/13/2005 3:49:38 PM PDT by SF Republican
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To: SF Republican

And for Volcker, IMHO---


14 posted on 05/13/2005 3:52:09 PM PDT by Txsleuth ( Mark Levin for Supreme Court Justice)
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To: SF Republican

'Why do you consider this bad news? Bad news for Kofi'


Makes sense. By Monday they hope everyone will have missed it.


15 posted on 05/13/2005 4:03:09 PM PDT by msjhall
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To: mathprof
Ol' Kofi was sandbagging investigators...but we can't have Bolton be our U.N. Ambassador, because he's MEAN!
16 posted on 05/13/2005 4:03:26 PM PDT by Yossarian (Remember: NOT ALL HEART ATTACKS HAVE TRADITIONAL SYMPTOMS)
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To: mathprof
What's up with Volker?

Does he have some skeletons?

17 posted on 05/13/2005 4:08:24 PM PDT by demsux
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To: demsux
That is the question of the day. COuld he be protecting someone really big? Schoerder? Chirac? Billy Boy?

Whatever it is, it must be quite serious for he has destroyed a sterling reputation over this.

18 posted on 05/13/2005 4:13:16 PM PDT by CasearianDaoist
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To: mathprof

Kofi's son got chump change. Kofi must have millions in numbered accounts from Saddam and other Arabs such as the Saudis. Kofi has done the work for the Arab bloc for years.


19 posted on 05/13/2005 4:15:55 PM PDT by dennisw (the country music station plays soft but there’s nothing, really nothing to turn off)
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To: mathprof

I posted a PDF file of a letter sent by Pierre Mouselli's lawyer to Paul Volker on this matter. Heres the post:

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1399922/posts

After you read it you can see Volker and the IIC is not to be trusted to get to the truth.

I think its going to backfire on Volker big time in the long run.


20 posted on 05/13/2005 4:22:16 PM PDT by baystaterebel (F/8 and be there!)
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To: mathprof
concluding the U.N. chief wasn't initially forthcoming and his story evolved as new facts emerged

Shocked! Simply shocked I tell you!
/sarcasm

21 posted on 05/13/2005 4:30:07 PM PDT by b4its2late (A bartender is just a pharmacist with a limited inventory.)
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To: mewzilla

Methinks this scam was in place during Boutrous bi Golly's tenure.


22 posted on 05/13/2005 4:30:21 PM PDT by OldFriend (MAJOR TAMMY DUCKWORTH.....INSPIRATIONAL)
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To: mathprof

Annan's a POS!


23 posted on 05/13/2005 4:32:37 PM PDT by Bullish
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To: mathprof

Kofi Annan should not be allowed to leave the country. He needs to be on trial for his crimes against humanity.


24 posted on 05/13/2005 4:36:47 PM PDT by thoughtomator ("One cannot say that a law is right simply because it is a law.")
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To: Peach
Annan...Coleman is going to chew you up and spit you out.

LOL!

25 posted on 05/13/2005 4:37:01 PM PDT by prairiebreeze (Hillary's Chappaquiddick. Check it out at: www.Hillcap.org)
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To: SF Republican

yup , Clintonesque indeed , they'd have Friday and Friday night to line things up , Saturday and Saturday night to iron-out the talking points and then the Sunday yap shows to beat the stuffing out of the story so,come Monday,it was thoroughly confusing to casual observers


26 posted on 05/13/2005 4:38:01 PM PDT by Dad yer funny
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To: Peach

Annan will try and have Coleman assassinated, I bet.


27 posted on 05/13/2005 4:38:11 PM PDT by thoughtomator ("One cannot say that a law is right simply because it is a law.")
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To: mathprof

The party's over, turn out the light...


28 posted on 05/13/2005 4:38:35 PM PDT by moose2004 (You Can Run But You Can't Hide!)
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To: moose2004

yeah ,...Trump would love to develop the UN site,once they're gone


29 posted on 05/13/2005 4:47:11 PM PDT by Dad yer funny
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To: Dog
Is this as bad as I think it is?

It sure does look bad.

30 posted on 05/13/2005 4:50:01 PM PDT by cyncooper
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To: Spruce
I'd prefer it if someone in authority could promise that our involvement in the UN wouldn't last past Annan's term.

Still, good for Coleman.

31 posted on 05/13/2005 4:59:01 PM PDT by Colonel_Flagg (Ah, spring. Such as it is.)
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To: thoughtomator

Yep, tell Norm to stay away from Cypriot elevator shafts.


32 posted on 05/13/2005 5:02:04 PM PDT by struwwelpeter
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To: prairiebreeze

How DO you get those perfect pictures to illustrate a point? LOL


33 posted on 05/13/2005 5:28:47 PM PDT by Peach
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To: mathprof
Volcker is using the "impressions" of 2 anonymous Iraqi ambassadors to impeach the credibility of the only witness who has tied Kofi to the contracts.

I wonder if Baghdad Bob is one of them?

This stinks!

I'd like to see the original interview notes to see if these impressions are noted.

34 posted on 05/13/2005 6:00:26 PM PDT by robomurph
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To: baystaterebel

See #34, thanks for the link.


35 posted on 05/13/2005 6:03:36 PM PDT by robomurph
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To: mathprof

Is there any chance that Congress will return the subpoenaed material as demanded?


36 posted on 05/13/2005 6:16:41 PM PDT by Buck W. (Yesterday's Intelligentsia are today's Irrelevantsia.)
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To: mathprof

Time to send Annan packing. Kofi Annan has a large target painted on his Saville Row suits. Already, he has been living with covert operations, wire taps and other surveillance 24/7 for the past five years.


37 posted on 05/13/2005 6:43:12 PM PDT by ex-Texan (Mathew 7:1 through 6)
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To: mathprof

bump!


38 posted on 05/13/2005 7:04:24 PM PDT by ellery (The true danger is when liberty is nibbled away, for expedience, and by parts. - Edmund Burke)
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To: Peach; dubyaismypresident

Amen.

This guy plays for real.


39 posted on 05/13/2005 7:06:24 PM PDT by Howlin (North Carolina, where beer kegs are registered and illegal aliens run free.)
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To: Bullish
Annan's a POS!

Volker, too.

40 posted on 05/13/2005 7:09:29 PM PDT by Libertarian444
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To: dennisw
You're right on, Dennis. There's no way Junior raked in millions while the go-between Daddi Kofi got only chopped liver.

BTW, an email of encouragement and praise is due Senator Coleman for his bulldogging. We always have to remember to send words of thanks as well as criticisms to our legislators.

Leni

41 posted on 05/13/2005 7:59:37 PM PDT by MinuteGal ("The Marines keep coming. We are shooting, but the Marines won't stop !" (Fallujah Terrorists)
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To: mewzilla
Cotecna replaced Lloyd's Register Feb.1999

I believe Kofi Annan became Sec. Gen. in Jan. 1997. Would have to check when Kojo Annan hooked up with Cotecna.

Cotecne sure has a Marc Rich sound to it but so far I have not made any connection. Another name I keep watching for in this OFF scandal is Michael Prest. He once worked for Rich but went out on his own as an oil trader in Nigeria, Lagos and Johannesburg.. His Company is Aurora based in Monaco.

42 posted on 05/13/2005 8:29:55 PM PDT by BARLF
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To: mathprof

Its all very simple if Kofi did not know he should be fired , jailed and assets ceased, if he did know he should be fired , jailed and assets ceased, if he comes clean he should be fired and assets ceased,


43 posted on 05/13/2005 9:02:49 PM PDT by KingNo155
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To: Dog

>Is this as bad as I think it is?<

Yes, I would think so.


44 posted on 05/13/2005 9:17:45 PM PDT by YHAOS
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To: Allan; Shermy

Ping.


45 posted on 05/13/2005 9:26:48 PM PDT by Mitchell
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To: CasearianDaoist
Whatever it is, it must be quite serious for he has destroyed a sterling reputation over this.

Yes, and he can NEVER restore it because it's too late. We know. OTOH he could make it get a LOT worse and probably will.

46 posted on 05/13/2005 10:02:22 PM PDT by Sal
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To: SF Republican

SF Republican wrote:
Is this not the Clinton technique?

--> "I don't recall that Sir" I spent $19.99 on the "incredible 5 minute memory lapse course" hehehe


47 posted on 05/14/2005 2:17:34 AM PDT by 1FASTGLOCK45 (FreeRepublic: More fun than watching Dem'Rats drown like Turkeys in the rain! ! !)
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To: robomurph

If Baghdad Bob is one of them note that Baghdad Bob, before he became info minister, is the guy former Ambassador Joseph Wilson said was in Niger meeting with niger's officials about trade. Wilson - a rabid Kerry fan with a conflict of interest a mile wide- seems to think the trade was in goats and cow peas, but some Nigerien took the trade inquiry to mean the Iraqis were interested in uranium.


48 posted on 05/14/2005 3:21:05 AM PDT by piasa (Attitude Adjustments Offered Here Free of Charge)
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To: robomurph

Cotecna is also a company involved in Niger's uranium mine business.


49 posted on 05/14/2005 3:22:16 AM PDT by piasa (Attitude Adjustments Offered Here Free of Charge)
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To: BARLF

Marc Rich is involved in the Oil for Food scandal via his company "Glencore" [sp]


50 posted on 05/14/2005 3:23:35 AM PDT by piasa (Attitude Adjustments Offered Here Free of Charge)
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