My name is Fred and I am a gay conservative living in Ottawa. This blog supports limited government, the right of the State of Israel to live in peace and security, and tries to expose the threat to us all from cultural relativism, post-modernism, and radical Islam. I am also the founder of the Free Thinking Film Society in Ottawa (

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Latest on the Oil-for-Palaces program...

It appears there more to the story about Benon Sevan, the head of the Oil-for-Palaces program.
New York: Investigators in the Iraqi oil-for-food scandal say they have discovered a network of overseas bank accounts operated by Benon Sevan, the former head of the United Nations program, who is the subject of a criminal inquiry by American prosecutors.

Officials from investigative agencies, including the UN's Volcker inquiry, say Mr Sevan has accounts in his native Cyprus, Turkey and Switzerland.

The first interim report from the inquiry, published in February, criticised Mr Sevan for a "grave and continuing" conflict of interest over oil export vouchers from Saddam Hussein, which he solicited for an oil trading company in Panama.

The investigators, who described his conduct as "ethically improper" estimated it had netted the company about $US1.5 million ($2 million).

Mr Sevan denies allegations of steering Iraqi oil to the trading company as part of a system of bribes and kickbacks.

The inquiry said the origins of $US160,000 received by Mr Sevan remained a mystery, although Mr Sevan said he had been left the money by an aunt. The investigators said the aunt's lifestyle and modest pension were not consistent with such large sums.

The UN ran the oil-for-food program, which was designed to ease the impact of sanctions. It is believed to have allowed Saddam to make up to $US10 billion in illicit revenue.

A Volcker committee spokesman said "new material" had been found regarding Mr Sevan, and his role would be a focus of the third interim report, due this month

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