Friday, October 07, 2005

Protection money

The U.N. employees union has criticized Secretary-General Kofi Annan for retaining his former chief-of-staff as an adviser despite accusations the aide authorized shredding three years of files on the corrupt oil-for-food program for Iraq.

A resolution adopted by the Staff Council, the union's executive, and obtained Thursday by The Associated Press, said keeping Riza as a personal adviser "is inconsistent with the requirement that all those working for the United Nations organization shall be of the highest integrity." The resolution was passed on Tuesday.

In a report in September, Volcker said Riza "played a greater role than he was willing to state" in the oil-for-food program. He was "the primary point of access to the secretary-general, routinely received copies of significant documents," and reviewed a March 7, 2001 memorandum on allegations of kickbacks and surcharges which he forwarded to the secretary-general.

They say oil money breeds corruption. It would seem that Annan has to keep Riza on board to prevent him from spilling the beans.

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