The Beat Goes On
CLAUDIA ROSETT - Special to the Sun November 26, 2004 One of the next big chapters in the United Nations oil-for-food scandal will involve the family of the secretary-general, Kofi Annan, whose son turns out to have been receiving payments as recently as early this year from a key contractor in the oil-for-food program.
The secretary-general's son, Kojo Annan, was previously reported to have worked for a Swiss-based company called Cotecna Inspection Services SA, which from 1998-2003 held a lucrative contract with the U.N. to monitor goods arriving in Saddam Hussein's Iraq under the oil-for-food program. But investigators are now looking into new information suggesting that the younger Annan received far more money over a much longer period, even after his compensation from Cotecna had reportedly ended.
Nov 26, 2004 — By Irwin Arieff UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The son of U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan got monthly payments more than four years longer than was previously known from a Swiss firm that won a lucrative contract under the scandal-ridden U.N. oil-for-food program, the United Nations said on Friday.
Kojo Annan, the U.N. leader's son, was paid $2,500 monthly — a total of $125,000 — by Geneva-based Cotecna from the beginning of 2000 through last February, as part of an agreement not to compete with Cotecna in West Africa after he left the firm, U.N. chief spokesman Fred Eckhard said.
"There is nothing illegal in this," Eckhard said of the payments from the Swiss firm Cotecna. However, it was an embarrassing moment for the United Nations to have to admit that its earlier information was wrong. Eckhard said that Kojo Annan's attorney told him that the younger Annan "continued to receive monthly payments beyond the end of 1999, when we previously thought they had ceased, through February 2004." Eckhard acknowledged that the United Nations previously said that Annan had stopped receiving monthly payments at the end of 1999.
Annan's lawyers say he was paid as part of an open-ended agreement that he wouldn't set up a competing business after he stopped working for the company in 1998. Cotecna was contracted to ensure the delivery of goods Iraq bought through a UN-brokered arrangement that ran from 1996 to this autumn. The program let leader Saddam Hussein trade $46 billion US worth of Iraqi oil for food and other essential items the country couldn't acquire itself because of international sanctions.
U.N.chief returns to HQ for Iraq biz -- United Nations, United States, Nov. 25 (UPI) -- U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan Thursday left Africa to return to U.N. World Headquarters in New York to deal with the situation in Iraq. A U.N. official at headquarters told United Press International he was leaving Burkina-Faso without attending a meeting of French-speaking nations as originally planned. She said it was not yet known if he would come into his office Friday. The official had no further details of why Annan was cutting short his overseas trip. Chief U.N. spokesman Fred Eckhard Wednesday told reporters in New York Annan was considering curtailing his program "to deal with pressing business here."