U.N. fires official in oil-food scandal

June 1, 2005 at 2:12 PM

UNITED NATIONS, June 1 (UPI) -- The United Nations has fired the head of the Security Council Affairs Division for alleged involvement in the Iraq Oil-for-Food Program scandal.

"After a thorough review of all aspects of the case the secretary-general has decided that Joseph Stephanides be summarily dismissed for serious misconduct in accordance with the U.N. staff regulations," Stephane Dujarric, a spokesman for Secretary-General Kofi Annan, told reporters Wednesday. "Stephanides was advised accordingly and was separated from service with immediate affect."

He was the first U.N. employee to be fired since the scandal erupted last year.

Stephanides, who handled contracts, and Benon Sevan, head of the oil-for food program, were suspended with pay in February after the Independent Inquiry Committee into the IOFFP, headed by former U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, accused them of misconduct.

Dujarric said the committee was still investigating Sevan.

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