Roger L. Simon

Oil-for-Food: Sevan Bribes For Sevan Covers!

Okay, put me in pun jail and never let me out… But just reading the following in the WaPo put me in a giddy mood: A U.N.-established inquiry into corruption in the $64 billion oil-for-food program will accuse the defunct program’s director, Benon V. Sevan, of receiving cash kickbacks for steering lucrative Iraqi oil contracts to an Egyptian oil trader, according to Sevan’s lawyer.

Former U.S. Federal Reserve chairman Paul A. Volcker, who is heading the independent inquiry committee, is to release a third interim report Tuesday that the lawyer, Eric L. Lewis, said in a statement will also charge Sevan, of Cyprus, with refusing to cooperate.

Progress from the Volcker Committee at last. Of course the lawyer is getting out front by saying his client is taking the heat for others (who could that be?):

Lewis said Sevan is being made a scapegoat to deflect criticism of Secretary General Kofi Annan. Lewis said that the charges, which were outlined in a confidential letter from the Volcker committee to Sevan last week, are “flatly false” and that he is going public to get his client’s side of the story out before Volcker issues the report. “Mr. Sevan never took anything from anyone,” he said.

If you don’t count the Iraqi people. (ht: Rick Ballard)