Saturday, December 31, 2016

In UN Bribery Case, Ng Fights Superseding Indictment, SSN Cited, NYT on Cage, Not Ban's Past

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, December 30 -- As the UN bribery scandal gathered force Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called for an audit by the UN Office of Internal Oversight Services of Sheri Yan's Global Sustainability Foundation (GSF), David Ng Lap Seng's Sun Kian Ip Group and its affiliates including the "World Harmony Foundation" and South South News, among others.

  The audit, completed early this year but first put online by Inner City Press, directly criticizes Cristina Gallach, the Under Secretary General for Communications and Public Information, Paragraphs 37-40 -- and 20b.

This last concerns the lack of any due diligence by the UN Department of Public Information under Under Secretary General Cristina Gallach of Ng Lap Seng's GWF's sponsorship of the “Ark of Return” ceremony.

  Now in December Ng has tried to get the superseding indictment dismissed, and the US government has opposed it.

The government writes, “The key players remain the same (the defendant as the bribepayer and Yin as his primary co-conspirator and deputy, the Antiguan Ambassador as the recipient of bribes, and the Dominican Ambassador as a party who was paid by the defendant and served his interests); the defendant’s alleged goals remain the same (namely, the obtaining of formal UN support for the Macau Conference Center); and the means and methods allegedly used by the defendant remain the same (including the defendant’s use of NGO-1 to funnel bribe payments).”

   NGO-1, South South News, remains in its UN office, while Inner City Press which has been covering this case, and UN links to it, was evicted and remains restricted 10 months later. When Inner group which put Ban together with Ng Lap Seng and Vivian Wang at Cipriani on 42 Street, tuxedo-ed UN/CA thugs came out and smashed Inner City Press' Periscope-broadcasting camera, video here.

 The New York Times has today written 700 honed words about the Ng case -- on the interesting gilded cage angle but without for now mentioning the UN much less Ban Ki-moon, of whom other bribery in New York is being alleged in the South Korea media. In fact, Ban was already selling the UN as far back as 2009:

From October 23, 2009, this Inner City Press report concerning Ng Lap Seng's partner Frank Liu, buying the UN under “unblemished” Ban Ki-moon:

“UNITED NATIONS, October 23 -- After announcing Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's participation in a UN Day concert later in the day, Ban's Associate Spokesperson Farhan Haq declined to answer Inner City Press' questions about whether the concert's sponsors, including the World Harmony Foundation, Frank Liu and/or the World Eminence Chinese Business Forum, had receive payments from businessmen, and if any of these were scheduled for photo-op with Mr. Ban.

  Haq, in a nearly empty noon press briefing with no time constraints, nevertheless said that the questions would be answered at another press conference on Friday afternoon, "if you are there." ... An October 23 press release by the World Harmony Foundation states that "Secretary General Ban Ki-moon... tolled the bell signifying world harmony."

The press release was handed to Inner City Press at a surreal breakfast forum held by the WECBA and Frank Liu in Room 6 of the UN's Delegates' Dining Room. A businessman receiving an award stood at the front at a podium with the UN flag and intoned, "please remember that Chinese businessmen are the kindest people in the world."

Another speaker said that more people dying every year from obesity than hunger, and urged those in the audience not to eat too much. The Ambassador of the Dominican Republic urged the assembled businessmen to join the UN Global Compact.”

 That would be Francis Lorenzo, of South South News, who has pleaded guilty. (Under Gallach, South South News still has its UN office, while Inner City Press reporting on it remains evicted).

In late November a superceding indictment has been filed which makes Gallach's malfeasance even clearer. The indictment now includes the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and specifies that South South News (NGO-1), which Gallach has left in its office while evicting Inner City Press which asked her about her connection to them, paid Ng Lap Seng's assistant in cash in order to evade taxes.

  The “honorary president” of South South News, who has pleaded guilty, was also involved in tax evasion. How corrupt can the UN be, to take no action on this bribery and tax evasion which corrupted the UN, while eviciting and restricting the investigative Press which asked about it? Gallach Must Go.

  Earlier in November, a person charged along with Ng Lap Seng, Jeffrey Yin, has made a motion to suppress what he said when arrested in September 2015. His motion says among other things that he was awake for more than 24 hours. Whether it would furhter push back Ng's trial, already put beyond the time when Ban Ki-moon, on whose watch it happened and whose Secretariat including Gallach bear responsibility, is not yet known.

   Even in January, Antonio Guterres will have taken over from Ban Ki-moon. Will Guterres move past Ban Ki-moon's only partial cooperation -- and Ban's and Gallach's retaliation against Inner City Press for having dug into each of their roles in the scandal since October 2015? In that month, Inner City Press asked Gallach about her role in the South South Awards with South South News' Francis Lorenzo. Video here.

  In February 2016, on the thinnest of pretexts and without once speaking with Inner City Press, Gallach ordered it out of the UN on two hours notice, then evicted its long time office in April. South South News, described in the case as a conduit for bribery, remains in its office, never asking any quesitons at the UN, like Egyptian state media Akhbar al Yom to which Gallach purports to give Inner City Press' office.

  Gallach herself must go - but will she? How, for example, would the laudable ideal of gender parity apply to incompetent or corrupt holdover official? We'll have more on all this.

On August 23, 2016, the International Day for the Remembrance of Slavery and its Abolition, Inner City Press asked Ban Ki-moon's spokesman Stephane Dujarric, UN transcript here and below.

On October 14, a letter was filed in the Southern District of New York about “UN production” - or lack thereof. It states: “ Mr. Ng’s counsel reports that on October 7, 2016, the UN produced approximately 61 documents to Mr. Ng’s defense team. It is clear that there are additional requested materials that have not yet been produced, and Mr. Ng’s defense team is in discussions with the UN’s counsel, Daniel Gitner, Esq., to facilitate such production. Mr. Ng remains optimistic that such production will be completed in sufficient time to prepare for his defense, and that the January 23, 2017 trial date need not be adjourned because of any delays in UN production.”

On October 19, Inner City Press asked Ban Ki-moon's outgoing spokesman Stephane Dujarric if the UN was ordered by authorities, to summarize the 61 documents and who Gitlin is: in house or outside counsel? Dujarric did not answer any of these questions, much less any update on why he and Gallach had Inner City Press evicted and now restricted while taking no action on South South News, named in the court papers as a conduit for UN  bribery. Or does that question answer itself?

On September 8, Inner City Press asked Ban Ki-moon's spokesperson Stephane Dujarric about developments in the Ng Lap Seng case, and if the UN was cooperating in any way. Vine here; UN transcript here:

Inner City Press: I wanted to ask about the Ng Lap Seng case.  Assuming that the UN is tracking it, as it's expanded, they're now asking about other individuals beyond Ng Lap Seng, but one of the guys is Mr. Qin, Q-I-N, and he's quoted in the Macau press as saying that he also was a partner in South-South News.  I know you said from here many times there's some sort of a review.  Are you following this case to see what…

Spokesman:  Yes, we're very much following the case.  As we've said, our… the UN is cooperating with the relevant authorities here in the… judicial authorities in the United States.

ICP Question:  There was a request by Ng Lap Seng's lawyers for certain documents from the UN.  They wrote to the head of OLA (Office of Legal Affairs) and asked for them.  Have any of those documents been provided?
Spokesman:  As I said, we are cooperating with the authorities.  Any requests that come from the authorities will be studied and given due consideration.

  So the UN would only consider helping if ordered - and might not, even then. This is impunity -and cover up.

From August 23:

Inner City Press: in the audit of the Ng Lap Seng/John Ashe case, there’s a paragraph on the failure to do due diligence on the ceremony of the Ark of Return outside.  And I’ve asked before, but I wanted to ask now after all this time, how much money did Ng Lap Seng, still on trial for bribery, commit at that event?  And what repercussions, what accountability, on that event and on the audit generally, have taken place…?

Spokesman:  I think… we’ve asked this question… you’ve asked this question before.  The audit and its recommendations were taken up seriously by all the Departments named.  As for the… for the ceremony, I think you’d have to ask the organizers.

  But the organizers are indicted; some like the GSF's Sheri Yan have pleaded guilty and been sentenced to 20 months in prison. Ask them? Or ask Gallach, who never spoke to Inner City Press before ousting it, and now hasn't even as Inner City Press is excluded from covering event without a minder, while the media Gallach's DPI is trying to give Inner City Press' long time shared office to, Akhbar Al Yom, never comes in, never asks questions? Ask whom? More from the transcript:

Inner City Press:  so what’s the status of the recommendation that had to do with due diligence…

Spokesman:  They’re all being… they’re all being fulfilled.

   We'll have more on this.

On June 29, Inner City Press asked UN spokesman Farhan Haq about it , video here, UN transcript here and below.

On August 11, lawyers for Ng Lap Seng filed in Federal court their formal demand to the UN and Ban Ki-moon's chief lawyer Manuel de Serpa Soares to produce a slew of financial and other information, including all of its communications with South South News.

 SSN is described in the file, by the prosecution, as a vehicle of bribery but the UN has left it in its office -- a conflict of interest -- while evicting Inner City Press which asked questions about it. Ban Ki-moon's UN is corrupt. We'll have more on this.

On July 29 Shiwei Yan a/k/a Sheri Yan was sentenced to 20 months in prison, was fined $12,500 and forfeited $300,000. U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara's press release, here.

On August 1, Inner City Press asked Ban Ki-moon's deputy spokeman Farhan Haq, UN Transcript here:

 Inner City Press: This has to do with the sentencing of Sherri Yan in the John Ashe-Ng Lap Seng case on Friday and she was sentenced to 20 months in federal prison, $300,000 of forfeiture, and Judge Broderick said the case, which is an ongoing case, has damaged the UN.  So, I wanted to know, given that the case is about bribery within the UN and given the judge's statement, what is your comment on the sentencing and the continuation, continuing of the case?

Deputy Spokesman:  Well, we don't have any particular comment on the sentencing.  Of course, we have been following this process and we have been sharing information that is relevant; but, from our standpoint, what we need to do is get to the bottom of what happened here to make sure that UN officials are not tainted by this and that ultimately everyone knows that no officials, whether Member States or otherwise, should be participating in these sorts of activities.

Including Ban Ki-moon? As this player in on UN scandal was sentenced, the UN outright stonewalled on basic Press questions about a news scandal, while having evicted the questioning Press and confining it to minders. Then it said the event was canceled as a basis to answer no questions.

This is Ban Ki-moon's UN: Ban attended Sheri Yan's father's one person art show, had his photo taken at it. See here.

Ban and Yan's bio, credit via photo links

The UN claims the Ng Lap Seng and Sheri Yan case has nothing to do with it or especially Ban, who wants to run for President of South Korea. But this is false.

Ban is allowing new privatization of the UN, through UN Security; his spokesman is trying to discourage questions about it by accusing Inner City Press of “unethical Googling,” after having played a role in ousting and evicting Inner City Press. This is Ban's UN.

  From the July 11 order in the Ng Lap Seng case:

"Defendant Ng and his counsel, with CJA counsel Mr. Wikstrom, and counsel for the Government, are instructed to appear for the conclusion of the Curcio hearing on Monday, July 18, 2016 at 10:00 a.m... Trial is set to commence on January 23, 2017." While Team Ban Ki-moon might be happy the formal trial doesn't begin until Ban leaves the UN and, some say, his formal run for South Korea president does, there will be more files development before then.

In Federal Court, there more links between South South News, still with a UN official from Ban Ki-moon as Inner City Press while investigating it was evicted, and bribery in the United Nations. On July 8, Inner City Press asked Ban's deputy spokesman Farhan Haq, video here, UN Transcript here:

Inner City Press: There's been new filings in the Ng Lap Seng case in the Southern District, and since you'd said previously that the UN is monitoring this, these filings have to do directly with South-South News.  And they quote… they have put into the record a letter in which South-South News is described as wanting to have part of this Macau Centre that was the… the thing that Ng Lap Seng was trying to procure these documents for.  It's described as a global media platform authorized by the UN.  And they put these in as… as essentially saying that this is a conduit for bribery.  So, I wanted to know:  Since you've said that the UN is monitoring this, given that the prosecutor [inaudible] has put this… this letter, I guess they got it in discovery or in some other fashion in, what is the UN's response to it?

Deputy Spokesman:  Well, like I said, we have been monitoring it and are looking at all of the information that's coming up.  And in that regard, as you know, there's an ongoing review of the status of South-South News.  There's no conclusion to that review at this point.

Inner City Press:  And I'd asked on Tuesday.  I'd asked Stéphane in writing… there was a meeting held down in 1D Basement, DPI [Department of Public Information] and something called the Malko Investment Group.  And since I googled Malko Investment Group and nothing came up, I sent him an e-mail and asked what is this entity and why is this meeting being held in the UN?  And I wanted to reiterate to you, why would DPI be having a meeting in a UN  meeting room with an investment group and particularly one that doesn't… that's either misnamed on the sign or doesn't exist at all?

Deputy Spokesman:  I'm not aware of the circumstances of the meeting.  I will check with DPI, what they have to say about that.  But, at this stage, I'm not… I'm not aware whether they're the sponsor of that… of that particular meeting or not.

Inner City Press:  There's a picture of the sign.  I mean, I wrote to you.

Deputy Spokesman:  I'm not aware of the details of whether they're the actual sponsors.  Sometimes meetings are set up by Member States’ organizations.  We'd have to check.

 Haq did not return with any answer from due diligence-less DPI. 
From the prosecutor's new letter:

"in an email dated on or about March 12, 2010, an individual affiliated with the State Council Information Office, an entity of the PRC government, sent an email to a business associate of Ng, containing a draft letter (in Chinese) for Ng to sign or approve. According to a draft translation prepared by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), the letter, which began with Ng introducing himself as a member of Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (“CPPCC”), a political advisory body, and as the “Chairman of the Board of the United Nations South South News,” stated in pertinent part:

[quote] my greatest wish is to fairly and objectively report the social development, religion, culture, and ideology of China through the South South News, a global media platform authorized by the UN, to display China’s soft power, counter malicious, distorted news by anti-China forces, and let the whole world hear a true voice that comes from China to understand the real China. . . .

. . . I will select suitable regions in China to establish a South South Cooperation Organization International Conference Center and a South South News Network Media Production Center as a base of operations for South South News.

Hope that the plan to establish two centers and the development of South South News in China can obtain strong support from the government of China. [unquote]

As the Court is aware, South South News, the entity described in the above email, is the conduit through which the Government alleges that defendants Ng and Jeff C. Yin funneled some of their bribe and money laundering payments.”

   So it says South South News was “authorized” by the UN; the prosecution says Ng and Yin used South South News as a conduit for bribery in the UN. And as of July 8, South South News still has its UN official from Ban Ki-moon as Inner City Press while investigating it was evicted and is now restricted to only cover events on the UN Conference Building's second floor -- ECOSOC and the Trusteeship Council Chambers, the General Assembly and General Assembly President's office -- with one of Ban Ki-moon's minders. This is Ban's UN.