By Matthew Russell Lee, Video
UNITED NATIONS, July 26 – When the UN bribery prosecution against Ng Lap Seng was handed to the jury late on July 26, evidence had been presented of widespread corruption by UN officials, many of them still working for the UN.
Ng Lap Seng's $3 billion UN convention center plan had been assisted by Meena Sur, still working for the UN Department of General Assembly and Conference Management. Inner City Press asked the UN spokesman Farhan Haq, who dodged by saying the UN was waiting for the verdict. But the UN is not on trial, because it has and cited immunity.
Likewise, high UN official Navid Hanif attended Ng Lap Seng's murky event in Macau in August 2015, and remains at at the UN. Spokesman Haq refused to answer about him, while telling Inner City Press that lower UN staff member Frances Fuller “separated from service” in September 2016, just after Inner City Press asked about her.
Francis Lorenzo, who took more money from Ng than the now deceased John Ashe, was given a UN.org email address by DGACM despite never being pictured among Ashe's Special Advisers, and never giving up his day job as the Dominican Republic's Deputy Permanent Representative.
Even on July 26, DGACM's Executive Officer told Inner City Press that the UN still hands such UN credential to anyone whom a President of the General Assembly tells them too. So nothing has been reformed.
The Department of Public Information under Cristina Gallach took Ng Lap Seng's money for its slavery memorial, and allowed fraudulentevents in the UN lobby. But UN lead spokesman Stephane Dujarric, who allowed the content of Ng's South South News to be included in UNTV archives under his watch, said this was just an issue of “judgment,” not malfeasance.
The UN Correspondents Association, to whom Dujarric “lent” the UN Press Briefing Room then evicted and still restricts Inner City Press for seeking to cover the event to see if they discussed taking South South News' money and providing a venue for Ng's photo op with Ban Ki-moon, did not have a single member correspondent covering the month-long UN bribery case. Other dubious events were being hosted.
And so, while awaiting the jury's verdict on Ng Lap Seng - which may be not guilty given how corrupt the UN and the star witness against him Francis Lorenzo have been shown to be - it is clear that the UN has not reformed and remains corruption and a censor, seven months into the reign of “new” Secretary General Antonio Guterres. It is the UN that should be prosecuted, or invited to leave. Watch this site.
Legal footnotes: counsel to Ng Lap Seng, Park Jensen Bennett, Partners Tai H Park and Douglas Jensen in New York; and Alexandra Shapiro in New York; Assistant US attorneys Douglas Zolkind, Janis Echenberg and Daniel Richenthal of the US Attorney’s Office, David Last, on detail with the criminal division fraud section's FCPA unit.