Sunday, January 22, 2017

UN Referred ICP's Corruption Qs to Ban Ki-moon Seoul Spox, Whom They Have Never Called

By Matthew Russell Lee
UNITED NATIONS, January 13 – January 10 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.
  Inner City Press obtained the 39-page indictment from multiple sources and is putting it online here in Scribd, now also here in pdf.
   It shows Ban's nephew using the influence and access of his family - that is, Ban Ki-moon -- to Qatar as part of his Vietnam building selling fraud. But on January 11, Ban's spokesman Stephane Dujarric, still at the UN for at least six months, referred all of Inner City Press' questions to Ban's Seoul spokesman Lee Do-woon.
   After Dujarric's office gave Inner City Press not an email address but what they said was Lee Do-woon's cell phone number, Inner City Press waited and called it. But during working hours in Seoul, it had only a telephone menu tree, only in Korea. Vine here. This is a run-around.
 On January 13, Inner City Press asked UN Associate Spokesperson Eri Kaneko, as politely as possible, how to get answers. From the UN transcript: 
Inner City Press:  Yesterday, I was told to call Mr. Lee Do-woon in Seoul, and I was told it was a mobile number.  I've called it five times.  It's nothing but a telephone tree that's entirely in Korean.  I sent it a text message, which wasn't received.  So, I'm going to ask you again, if the idea is all of the questions raised by the indictment should be given to the new Associate Spokesperson, can I have an e-mail address or some way that actually I can reach somebody?

Associate Spokesperson:  We'll check.  I mean, that's the only number we have, as well, so, you know, you know as much as we do.

Inner City Press:  Did you get a telephone tree?

Associate Spokesperson:  We haven't tried calling it.
   They just gave this number to Inner City Press saying to ask it all UN corruption questions. 
On January 12, Inner City Press asked Ban's holdover spokesman Stephane Dujarric, Video hereUN Transcript here: 
Inner City Press: the 24 September 2013 meeting between the Secretary-General and the Amir of Qatar, in the indictment, that's the time frame exactly in which the nephew was saying, I can get my family to get Qatar to buy the building.  So, I wanted to know, I've looked at the readout.  It talks about Yemen.  It talks about Syria.  What records does the UN keep of those meetings, and did OIOS ever inquire, given the public reporting on this, whether this meeting involved in any way Landmark 72 in Viet Nam?

Spokesman:  A note is kept of the meeting, and that's the official record for any bilateral meetings.  As I said, on the indictment of the relatives of the former Secretary-General, I have nothing to add to what I've said.

Inner City Press: what's the purpose of OIOS if they don't investigate things like this as to…

Spokesman:  I understand what you're saying, and I'm saying what I'm saying.  
  It seems the UN is saying, we won't answer about corruption, even as revealed in a US indictment.
  Then there's the third party who walked off with bribe money: Malcolm Harris.
  While Ban's holdover spokesman Stephane Dujarric on January 11 told Inner City Press it has nothing to do with the UN, Inner City Press can today report that Malcolm Harris did projects with UNHCR, the UN refugee agency.
 Here's a quote from Malcolm Harris: "our combined efforts on behalf of the UNHCR... I am honored and humbled to have been working with the good-folks at the United Nations since the inception of my charitable organization Designers for Darfur in 2006."
Inner City Press: one of the individuals indicted along with the former Secretary-General's brother and nephew, a Malcolm Harris, and basic research finds that he has said publicly that he's done work with UNHCR and with the UN in a variety of capacities.  So, yesterday, you tried to say… even questions as to OIOS [Office of Internal Oversight Services] were…

Spokesman:  I'm not aware…  I can… happy to look into it.  I'm not aware of this gentleman having done any work with the UN.  If you have a question for UNHCR, I would ask you to send it to UNHCR.
  We'll have more on this.
   Key to the indictment is the South Korean firm 
Keangnam, which employed Ban Ki-moon's brother Ki Sang and hired nephew Dennis Bahn to use Ban and the UN to try to sell a building in Vietnam to Qatar's sovereign wealth fund. 
But there's more, and it's worse.
Keangnam CEO Sung claimed, before his death, that he helped deliver the UN Secretary General position to Ban Ki-moon, having persuaded then Sri Lanka president / alleged war criminal Mahinda Rajapaksa to change his support, from Sri Lankan official Dhanapala to Ban.
  Ban Ki-moon's brother worked for Keangnam as a senior adviser -- for seven years.  And Keagnam hired UN landlord Colliers International and Ban's nephew Dennis Bahn to sell its $1 billion skyscraper in Hanoi, Landmark 72.  Dennis Bahn is implicated in using Ban's influence to attempt the sale of the building to the Qatar sovereign wealth fund.
  So Ban Ki-moon got help from this company to pursuade a Sri Lanka war criminal to withdraw his country's candidate to get Ban Ki-moon the UNSG position, later used to try to help the company sell its Vietnam building.
  This is systemic corruption. And that Ban went on as UNSG to cover up Rajapaksa's war crimes in Sri Lanka, and even through his envoy Vijay Nambiar and the White Flag killings to participate in them, makes it all the more disgusting.
 On January 11, Inner City Press asked Ban Ki-moon's longtime spokesman Stephane Dujarric, still at the UN for at least six months, about the UN aspects of the indictment. Why didn't the UN Office of Internal Oversight Services act? What of the involvement of the UN's ongoing landlord Colliers International, which employed Ban's nephew?
   Dujarric said he had no comment on the indictment, and purported to refer all the UN questions to Ban's new spokesman in Seoul, Lee Do-woon. Full video here. 
   Now NYU which had offered Dennis Bahn already known to be corrupt in 2015 (ICP here) a class "Real Estate Capital Markets and Corporate Finance” has cut him loose (NYP here.) But the UN keeps defending it, and Ban Ki-moon keeps spinning, all the way to Seoul. We'll have more on this.
  Earlier, Inner City Press asked the Ambassadors of France and the UK about the indictments. French Ambassador Francois Delattre said he respects the question, but has no comment.
UK Ambassador Matthew Rycroft said he's seen the reports but has no comment. 
 Paragraph 15 says Bahn and Ban Ki Sang used "personal connections" of their "own family" -- that is, Ban Ki-moon.
 In Paragraph 18, Dennis says the deal would only get done "based on our family's reputation" with Qatar. Ban Ki-moon took flights paid for by Qatar, not disclosed untilInner City Press exposed them (credited by Newsweek, here) -- then got evicted from UN.
The real estate firms which employed Ban Ki-moon's nephew, referred it in Paragraph 5, is UN landlord Colliers International. This is a UN case, another case involving the UN and Ban Ki-moon.
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.  UN transcript here.
  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...