UNITED NATIONS, Nov. 15 (UPI) -- A U.N. employee who had been fired after being linked to the Iraq oil-for-food scandal has been rehired and given two years salary for the embarrassment.
Joseph Stephanides, former director of the U.N. Security Council Affairs Division, was accused in February of releasing information related to oil-for-food bidding. The U.N. oil-for-food program allowed Iraq to sell petroleum for items needed by its populace, but the $64 billion program was found to be rife with kickbacks.
Stephanides, the only U.N. employee dismissed in the investigation, said he was acting under instructions from a Security Council committee. He was never alleged to have been trying to get money for himself.
On Tuesday, U.N. deputy spokeswoman Marie Okabe said Stephanides had been sent a letter stating his dismissal had been rescinded. Information leaked to the media said the U.N. disciplinary committee said Stephanides should be given a letter of apology from U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan and two years salary -- about $196,000 -- for the embarrassment.
Okabe Tuesday did not mention the apology but officials said that Stephanides was no longer fired but he received a letter of censure and granted four months' back pay. Stephanides's attorney said he would appeal "until he is fully exonerated."