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December 5, 2004
All In The Family

The London Telegraph has more background on the role played by Kojo Annan, son of the UN Secretary-General, in diverting funds from Iraqis in the Oil-For-Food program. Records now reveal that Kojo lobbied UN officials at their official functions to get contracts for the Swiss firm Cotecna, which finds itself in the center of the massive corruption at the UN:

The son of Kofi Annan, the United Nations Secretary-General, lobbied for business contacts at gatherings of UN officials on behalf of a company in the same year as it won an oil-for-food programme deal, it has emerged.

The second disclosure in a week about Kojo Annan's role with the Swiss company Cotecna Inspection Services, which secured the $4.8 million (2.46 million) UN contract to monitor goods entering and leaving Iraq in 1998, has raised embarrassing questions for his father. The details were revealed in Cotecna company documents handed over under subpoena to US congressional scrutineers who are investigating the oil-for-food scandal in which Saddam Hussein is thought to have creamed off more than $20 billion.

In one billing memo, a US investigator told The Telegraph, Kojo Annan, 29, claimed fees and expenses for eight days' work in July 1998, including six days in Abuja "during my father's visit to Nigeria". On another, he claimed expenses and $500 a day for a 15-day trip to New York and the UN General Assembly in September 1998 for meetings on "special projects".

Supposedly, Kojo worked in Cotecna's African business unit at the time. However, with the UN leader's son pressing the flesh on behalf of his company with the same people who report to his father, it wouldn't be difficult for a blind man to see the conflict of interest present in such activities. Why was Kojo allowed to lobby at official UN events? Who gave him authorization to do so?

The corruption of UNSCAM keeps getting closer and closer to the top. Editorial boards such as the Star-Tribune's may keep trying to smear the investigators to stop the dots from being connected, but the UN more and more resembles an organized-crime family -- literally, in this case -- rather than a credible multilateral organization.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at December 5, 2004 10:57 AM

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