Sunday, March 27, 2005

Kofi about to throw his son under the train

UN: When you have to use the "Billy Carter" defense, you are in trouble.

"KOFI ANNAN, struggling to survive as the United Nations Secretary-General, plans to blame his son for embroiling him in the oil-for-food scandal when a UN inquiry issues a harsh report tomorrow. UN officials are hoping to deflect criticism of the UN chief by insisting that his son misled him about payments that he, Kojo, 29, received from a UN contractor. The inquiry, led by Paul Volcker, the former chairman of the US Federal Reserve, is expected to criticise Mr Annan’s management lapses, in particular his failure to notice the apparent conflict of interest of his son working for a company that was awarded a UN contract. It will confirm that Mr Annan repeatedly met representatives of the firm, Cotecna Inspection SA. "...Aides say that Mr Annan plans a “Billy Carter defence”, whereby he should not be held accountable for any transgressions by his son, just as Jimmy Carter was not forced from the White House when it emerged that his brother was lobbying for Libya. Mark Malloch Brown, the UN Secretary-General’s chief of staff, said last week that Mr Annan expected to be exonerated, but that Kojo’s situation may be “very different."

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