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Oil-food inquiry to U.S.: Wait your turn

Nov. 16, 2004 at 6:08 PM

NEW YORK, Nov. 16 (UPI) -- The Independent Inquiry Committee into the (U.N.) Oil-for-Food Program has told a U.S. congressional probe to wait its turn for internal U.N. information.

Sen. Norm Coleman, R-Minn., and Rep. Carl Levin, D-Mich., of the Senate governmental affairs investigations subcommittee, had sought internal U.N. information and individuals for their probe into the program.

Paul Volcker, chairman of the IIC-OFFP, Tuesday sent letters to U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan and the two senators spelling out the reasons he was not releasing the information.

He said the corruption charges "demand a response -- a full, unbiased, definitive disclosure of the evidence and of other findings." But, he explained, "The United Nations does not make such internal confidential information ... available to a particular member state," adding, "any other policy would appear to impair gravely decision-making and personnel loyalties."

Volcker, former chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve, said information for his probe would be released when the IIC-OFF had completed its task, barring confidentiality agreements, perhaps as early as mid-2005.

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