NEW YORK: The former head of the scandal-tainted oil-for-food programme has resigned from the United Nations, hours before he is expected to be accused of getting kickbacks from the $US67 billion ($NZ98.3 billion) operation.
A UN-established Independent Inquiry Committee, led by former US Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, plans to release its third interim report on allegations of corruption in the humanitarian programme for Iraq, which began in 1996 and ended in 2003.
Benon Sevan, the former executive director of the programme, is to be accused of getting cash for steering Iraqi oil contracts to an Egyptian trader and of refusing to co-operate with the Volcker panel, his attorney Eric Lewis said. Sevan has denied the allegations.
On Sunday, Lewis distributed a letter from Sevan, 67, to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan resigning from his current job, which he was given after he retired.
The $US1-a-year post carries immunity and was meant to ensure he would co-operate with the probe. But Sevan may have preempted a dismissal from this arrangement as the United Nations in the past has taken action against staff fingered in the Volcker report.
(apologies the link isn’t more ‘international’)