Sevan, whom I called this morning on his Cyprus cell phone, first said he was in traffic and couldn’t talk till he got home — presumably to his apartment on Cyprus. Then he would say nothing except: “Talk to my lawyer.”
Sevan’s lawyer has now sent out a statement, saying that Sevan is innocent, and blaming — what else? — not the UN, but the U.S. In fact, the anti-American language here sounds so much like that of assorted top UN officials of recent times, including Kofi Annan and his former deputy, Mark Malloch Brown, that one might almost think Sevan was still working for the UN.
Come to think of it, Annan during part of the Oil-for-Food investigation not only kept Sevan on staff, with the accompanying perks, as a $1-per-year “special adviser,” but also had the UN paying his legal fees. Shortly after that came to an end, Sevan slipped back to Cyprus, where he has since been living on full UN pension.