Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Volcker: Kofi Annan is not cleared.

UN: Kofi's lawyer also said that people misunderstood Kofi when he said he was cleared of charges. This is not good.

"...In the letter obtained Tuesday, Craig included a transcript of Annan's March 29 comments to the media. He stressed that when Annan said he was exonerated, he was only referring to the charge that he had meddled in the awarding of the Cotecna contract. "I respectfully submit that his use of that word with respect to that particular finding should cause no fair-minded person any discomfort," Craig wrote. Annan's statement, seemingly innocuous at the time, has touched off a firestorm of controversy and become the focus of intense criticism. It has consumed headlines at the United Nations, drawing attention away from sweeping proposals Annan has made to reform the United Nations. Some critics, particularly Republicans in the U.S. Senate, have demanded Annan step down and say he is trying to escape culpability in the scandal surrounding oil for food, the $64 billion program which was meant to help ordinary Iraqis suffering under U.N. sanctions. Volcker himself told Fox News in an interview that aired Tuesday, a week after the letter was sent, that exoneration was not the word he would have used in describing the report's findings on Annan. Committee spokesman Mike Holtzman said that while the report cleared Annan of the first charge, "there's a distinction here that got lost." "While the secretary-general clearly was exonerated on one point, the findings with respect to his conduct of an investigation into his son's involvement were severe," he said.

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