U.N.: Oil-for-food indictment 'progress'

April 14, 2005 at 2:28 PM

UNITED NATIONS, April 14 (UPI) -- The United Nations has labelled as "progress" a U.S. indictment of three businessmen over the oil-for-food bribe scandal.

Texas Oil tycoon David Chalmers Jr., Bulgarian Ludmil Dionissiev and British oil trader John Irving were indicted in Manhattan federal court Thursday for bribing officials in former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's regime in exchange for oil.

"We have always maintained that anyone who is accused of criminal wrongdoing involved with the oil-for-food program should be prosecuted," U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said. "So in that sense, it's progress."

Dujarric said U.S. investigators had not contacted the United Nations to discuss their investigation.

The United Nations was awaiting the findings of an independent report by former U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker to be released this summer.

"We are, of course, fully co-operating with Volcker and his committee," Dujarric said.

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