Tags: Kofi | Annan | Circles | the | Wagons

Kofi Annan Circles the Wagons

Thursday, 02 December 2004 12:00 AM

Cotecna, it is alleged, certified the purchase of substandard medicines and foodstuffs at full market value. The difference between what the U.N. was charged and what the inferior merchandise was actually worth was believed to be pocketed by various Iraqi and U.N. officials.

Annan worked for the Swiss company at the time the U.N. contract was awarded, though he and Cotecna both claim Iraqi business dealings were never discussed.

Annan the father insists he had nothing to do with Cotecna's U.N. contract.

Kojo also claimed he severed ties with Cotecna in 1999, shortly after the U.N. contract was awarded.

Last Thursday, The Sun revealed that Kojo remained on Cotecna's payroll as late as February 2004, receiving money paid out under a non-competition agreement.

U.N. spokesman Fred Eckhard confirmed The Sun report and admitted the Annan son had received approximately $150,000 since he officially left the company in 1999.

Eckhard also pointed out the Secretary-General was unaware of the continuing payments to his son until the story went public.

Meanwhile, the three U.S. broadcast networks have all opted to air "updates" on the widening U.N. scandal.

An item under investigation by NewsMax is the use of the Secretary-General's U.N. residence by his son (who normally resides in London) when the father is out of town.

The home, a three-story townhouse on Manhattan's Upper East Side (Sutton Place), is used by the U.N. chief to host official and unofficial functions.

U.N. Security officers assigned to the residence tell NewsMax there have been several occasions when Kojo has used the home for "private" parties.

It is not clear who attended the parties, why they were given, or whether the U.N. was financially compensated for them.

Inquiries to the U.N. were not responded to.

Staff sources at the U.N. tell NewsMax that senior Anann staffers are afraid the U.N. chief is becoming increasingly exposed to the widening scandal and it may begin to tarnish him personally.

As such, the U.N. staff union has been asked by Annan's office to provide details of alleged corruption and incompetence involving several key current U.N. officials.

Calls for Annan to step down as U.N. chief are also gaining momentum on Captiol Hill.

Though Annan himself has not been implicated in the investigations, the long-term fallout is of increasing concern.

State Department officials have made it clear the White House will steer away from any comments until the various investigations are completed.

Privately, Bush administration officials are not "unpleased" with the attacks on Annan.

Annan has been known to be critical of U.S.'s Iraq policy and labeled Operation Iraqi Freedom "illegal" since the Security Council never approved it.

Annan has also been suspected by White House officials of cooperating with the Kerry campaign in the past presidential election.

At the Ronald Reagan memorial service in Washington, Annan was spotted several times having a private meeting with both Bill Clinton and John Kerry together at the National Cathedral.

When one administration official in NYC was asked if Annan's recent troubles were payback for the problems he caused for the Bush White House, the response was a simple smile.

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Cotecna, it is alleged, certified the purchase of substandard medicines and foodstuffs at full market value. The difference between what the U.N. was charged and what the inferior merchandise was actually worth was believed to be pocketed by various Iraqi and U.N....
Kofi,Annan,Circles,the,Wagons
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2004-00-02
Thursday, 02 December 2004 12:00 AM
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