U.N. issues oil-for-food status report

Aug. 9, 2004 at 6:36 PM

UNITED NATIONS, Aug. 9 (UPI) -- The first status report of the Independent Inquiry Committee into the U.N. Oil for Food Program in Iraq was distributed Monday to Security Council members.

The 30-page report contained no substantive findings on the investigation into allegations of fraud and other wrongdoing, Chairman Paul Volcker told reporters.

He said it was largely an "organizational, administrative document," adding, "It does not purport to present any evidence about the investigation" and added he would not be releasing findings in "bits and pieces."

Volcker said the priority is to determine how did the United Nations formulate and administer the program. He said he expects that part of the inquiry to be completed during the first half of next year.

But the former chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve, referring to the allegations, commented, "There is a lot of smoke."

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