By Matthew Russell Lee
UNITED NATIONS, January 10 – Tuesday saw the belated bribery indictment in New York of Ban Ki-moon's nephew Dennis Bahn, about whom Inner City Press has been asking the UN since at least May 2015, video here.
Even though Dennis Bahn worked at the UN Development Program's landlord on 45th Street, Colliers International, the UN Office of Internal Oversight Services never acted, and UN spokespeople refused to answer Inner City Press (instead evicting it in early 2016 (NYT here) and restricting it still).
Lost in the reporting by media which ignored Ban's scandals in 2015 (and back to 2009 when the UN promotions of Ban's son in law Siddharth Chatteerjee, and censorship, began), is the UN connection.
Dennis Bahn reportedly said that Ban Ki-moon would get Qatar's sovereign wealth fund to invest in the Vietnam building; undeniably, Ban Ki-moon's nephew worked at UN landlord Colliers, a blatant conflict of interest.
On October 6, 2016 Inner City Press asked Ban Ki-moon's spokesman Farhan Haq again about Ban's nephew's fraud conviction. Beyond the Vine video here, second half. From the UN transcript:
Inner City Press: You had said to somehow ask Colliers if the individual who's listed in the newspaper as the nephew of the Secretary-General as working for them at the time that the fraud that he was just convicted of occurred. Doesn't the UN have a duty, if it has existing contractors… I just went by 45th Street today. The sign is still up, so the UN is doing business with Colliers. If a newspaper, widely circulated, says an employee of their company was convicted of fraud, isn't there some follow up totally outside of the familial relationship of the Secretary-General?Deputy Spokesman: We do not determine the staffing of Colliers. You would have to ask them that. Have a good afternoon.
Ban who left the UN on January 1 and tellingly his first move was to take legal action against the press. This came after he had Inner City Press evicted and still restricted after Inner City Press asked him repeatedly about his nephew working for the UN Development Program's landlord on 45th Street, and reportedly using Ban's name to try to sell the tallest building in Vietnam.
While Ban has tried to explain away the mounting scandals of his brother Ban Ki-ho mining in Myanmar after being on a UN delegation there, this indictment brings the systemic irregularities surrounding him into focus.
Why did the UN's own Office of Internal Oversight Services not investigate and act on this? Why were Ban and his head of "communications," along with spokesman Stephane Dujarric allowed to evict and restrict the Press which alone asked the UN about it? And what now?
Before Ban left, he named his own son in law Siddarth Chatterjee to the top UN top in Kenya.
Now interest in South Korea is growing about Ban Ki-moon's brother Ban Ki-ho's mining in Myanmar, including Ki-ho not only being on a "UN delegation" as ICP first reported, but having a January 21, 2015 meeting with Myanmar officials - and UN officials. We'll have more on this.
Ban's moonlighting mentor Han Seung-soo was allowed by Ban to be a UN official while his Doosan Infracore sold desalinization equipment in the UAE, where Han gave speeches - and sold equipment to a gold miner(hmm) in Myanmar.
And after leaving the UN, Ban openly enlisted a person still in the UN job he'd given him, Jeffrey Sachs, to campaign for South Korea's presidency with him. This is now reported by CNBC as well, here.
Inner City Press on January 9 asked Ban's holdover spokesman Stephane Dujarric about Sachs' comments and Dujarric said, as he so often does without coming back with anything, that he will look into it. Video here.
This while media reports link “full time” UN official Kim Won-soo to Ban's wannabe campaign.
Ban Ki-moon has used and abused the UN, not only the General Assembly resolution he is ignoring by running, but by using public taxpayers' money to further his own ambition.
In his final year Ban evicted Inner City Press from the UN, where still under his successor it remains restricted to minders to cover events on the UN's second floor.
Back in 2009, when Inner City Press reported on Ban's nepotism in connection with a promotion of Ban's son in law, an invitation to lunch came from South Korea's Mission to the UN.
Then deputy ambassador Kim Bong-hyun used the lunch to berate Inner City Press on how to cover (and not cover) Ban. (The article, and his full reply, are here). Now he's listed on Ban's campaign team, along with still UN official Kim Won-soo and former South Korean Ambassadors to the UN Kim Sook and Oh Joon.
Oh Joon has just given an interview claiming that press criticism of Ban Ki-moon is of his "inclusive leadership." How about his nepotism: son in law promoted to top UN job in Kenya, nephew with UN landlord, brother Ki-ho mining in Myanmar after being on a UN delegation?
Tellingly, the UN's Office of Internal Oversight Services never looked into or acted on these; Ban through still at the UN Cristina Gallach had Inner City Press evicted and still restricted, still even on January 9, 2017 harassed for daring to cover the UN...
Sachs, Ban and his fan club, UN Censorship Alliance, UN Photo
In early January, Inner City Press asked Kim Won-soo directly, when will you be leaving the UN? He refused to answer, backing away smiling. But it is no joke, to take public funds while reportedly on the campaign team of a political candidate. We'll have more on this.