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Oil For Food Probe Clears Annan Of Wrongdoing

Annan Says Latest Report On Iraq Oil-For-Food Probe Clears Him Of Wrongdoing

Secretary-General Kofi Annan said today the latest interim report by the independent committee probing alleged misconduct and mismanagement in the United Nations Oil-for-Food programme for Iraq has cleared him of any wrongdoing, specifically in the award of a contract to a Swiss firm that employed his son.

"As I had always hoped and firmly believed, the inquiry has cleared me of any wrongdoing," he said in a statement after receiving the report from former United States Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, head of the Independent Inquiry Committee ( IIC) into the allegations surrounding the now defunct multibillion dollar programme that allowed then sanctions-bound Iraq to sell oil in exchange for humanitarian supplies.

"On the key issue of the award of the contract to inspect humanitarian goods entering Iraq under the Oil-for-Food programme , the report states clearly that 'there is no evidence that the selection of Cotecna in 1998 was subject to any affirmative or improper influence of the Secretary-General in the bidding or selection process,'" the statement added.

Mr. Annan has consistently maintained that he himself was not guilty of any wrongdoing, that his son Kojo's work for Cotecna had nothing to do with its contract, and that Kojo had confirmed that he misled his father about the extent of his relationship with the company.

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