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UN Oil Or Money Corruption Denied

UN Official Rejects Allegations Of Receiving Oil Or Money From Former Iraqi Regime

The official in charge of the United Nations humanitarian programme for Iraq today strongly denied charges that he received kickbacks from the former Iraqi regime and challenged accusers to submit proof of their assertions.

"I should like to state that there is absolutely no substance to the allegations made in a local Iraqi newspaper, now appearing in some international media, that I had received oil or oil monies from the former Iraqi regime," a UN spokesman said, reading a statement on behalf of Benon Sevan, the Executive Director of the Office of the Iraq Programme (OIP).

"Those making the allegations should come forward and provide the necessary documentary evidence," the statement said. "They should submit their evidence to the Under-Secretary-General, Office of the Internal Oversight Services."

>From 1996 to 2003, the OIP was responsible for overseeing the Oil-for-Food programme, which allowed the sanctions-bound regime to use a portion of oil profits to purchase food, medicine and other relief supplies. More than $31 billion worth of humanitarian goods were delivered during the nearly seven years the programme was in effect.

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