Roger L. Simon

An Incendiary Letter Regarding Oil-for-Food

This blog is in possession of a letter sent yesterday (May 18) by attorney Adrian Gonzalez-Maltes to Paul Volcker, Chairman of the Independent Inquiry Committee into the UN Oil-for -Food Programme. It concerns the treatment of Franco-Lebanese businessman Pierre Mouselli whose confidentiality agreement, Gonzalez-Maltes and his client believe, was betrayed by the committee. The following is a significant portion of that letter. Consistent with what will shortly be the official policy of Pajamas Media, the original document is posted in its entirety here (pdf) as well so that you may judge if any quotes have been taken out of context.

5. How did Kojo Annan and his counsel obtain confidential information regarding Mr. Mouselli’s participation as a witness on or prior to March 24? Was Robert Parton [now resigned lead investigator] informed of these disclosures? Why was Pierre Mouselli or his counsel not advised of these disclosures?

6. Did someone from the Committee provide to Kojo Annan or his counsel Mr. Mouselli’s private, unlisted cellphone number? If so, who and under what circumstances?

7. How did the Secretary General and his counsel obtain this same information? How did they obtain the transcript of the Report relating to Mr. Mouselli’s testimony? Was Robert Parton informed of these disclosures? Why was Pierre Mouselli or his counsel not advised of these disclosures? Can you give your assurance that proper procedures were followed and describe what those procedures were?

8. Were there any meetings, discussions or communications with the Secretary General or his counsel concerning the content of my email clarification sent to Robert Parton on March 25 at the prompting of the Secretary General’s counsel? If so, was Robert Parton aware of these communications? Again, if so, why was Pierre Mouselli or his counsel not advised of these disclosures?

9. Was the email clarification properly treated by the IIC as a privileged communication from legal counsel for a witness and was the confidentiality of that communication complied with?

10. Was Committee Counsel Susan Ringler made aware of breaches of confidentiality with respect to Mr. Mouselli? If so, why was Mr. Mouselli or his counsel not made aware of such breaches?

11. Was a decision made by Committee members to characterize my March 25 email clarification to Robert Parton as “conflicting”
after unilateral contacts with the Secretary General or his counsel? In any event, given the credibility accorded the rest of Mr. Mouselli’s testimony, his expressed willingness at all times to provide further information to the Committee and assist in all respects, his reliance on Committee representations regarding his presentation as a credible witness, and the opportunity afforded other parties to comment and contradict Mr. Mouselli’s testimony, why was neither he nor his counsel consulted for comment prior to the decision to so characterize the communication?

12. In addition, it has come to my attention that additional communications that I have addressed to the Committee that are both legally privileged and covered by Mr. Mouselli’s confidentiality agreement have been leaked by members of the Committee to the press. These are serious breaches of confidentiality that appear designed to discredit Mr. Mouselli as a witness. They do not however directly concern the substance of the investigation or the specific information provided. The Committee may wish to investigate these violations internally.

I will post any response from Mr. Volcker as soon as I learn of it.