Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Memo May Link Kofi Annan to Oil-For-Food Scandal

United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan has consistently denied connections to Cotecna, the firm which employed his son Kojo, and which won a $10 million contract under the oil-for-food program. Now, a memo from 1998 has surfaced purporting to refer to discussions the elder Annan had with Cotecna executives. From The Associated Press:
UNITED NATIONS - Investigators of the U.N. oil-for-food program said Tuesday they are "urgently reviewing" new information that suggests U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan may have known more than he revealed about a contract that was awarded to the company that employed his son.

The December 1998 memo from Michael Wilson, then a vice president of Cotecna Inspections S.A., mentions brief discussions with Annan "and his entourage" at a summit in Paris in 1998 about Cotecna's bid for a $10 million-a-year contract under oil-for-food.

If accurate, the memo could contradict a major finding of the Independent Inquiry Committee — that there wasn't enough evidence to show that Annan knew about efforts by Cotecna, which employed his son, Kojo, to win the contract. Cotecna learned it won the contract on Dec. 11, 1998, days after the meeting.
Kofi Annan claims to have no recollection of the meeting.