Tuesday, August 1, 2017

After Bribery Conviction, UN Still Wants to Get Paid, ICP Asks SG Spox Why, Audio Here

By Matthew Russell Lee, Video and audio

UNITED NATIONS, July 31 – After the UN bribery verdict of six guilty counts against Ng Lap Seng was delivered by the jury late on July 27, UN Deputy Spokesman Farhan Haq who has repeatedly dodged questions about the case from Inner City Press was quoted by Reuters that the UN was "a victim of these crimes" and later that "We are exploring the possibility of requesting restitution as a victim to these crimes, including recovering expenses incurred to provide the requested cooperation." On July 31, Inner City Press asked Haq's also holdover boss Stephane Dujarric to explain how this could be, UN transcript here: Inner City Press: last week, as you know, Ng Lap Seng was found guilty in one day on six charges of bribery, foreign corrupt practices act, money-laundering.  And I just want… I really want to understand this.  I've been looking at the idea that the UN will be… is… considers itself a victim of the case and will be requesting restitution as a victim.  And I wanted to understand.  It was said by Farhan [Haq], and I didn't have a chance to ask him about… is this just OLA [Office of Legal Affairs] trying to… in the same way as Haiti cholera, cover itself by saying we're a victim, we bear no responsibility, or is it literally António Guterres' position that the UN should be paid for a process in which its own DGACM [Department of General Assembly and Conference Management] gave a document to the guy?  There are still people here that worked on the proposal… I want to understand…

Spokesman:  I think the overall point is that the UN was used for what it appears for criminal activity by the gentleman who was found guilty.

Inner City Press:  Right, but what about the office South-South Cooperation?  Is there any guilt on the side of the UN side? Mr. Yiping Zhu that left immediately upon the indictment, is… was he victimized?  Did he not understand what he was doing?

Spokesman:  Mr. Yiping Zhu is no longer a staff member of this organization.

Inner City Press:  Right, but doesn't an organization have some responsibility for what its people do?

Spokesman:  I will leave it at that. 
  We won't. Inner City Press asked UN Spokesman Haq on July 28 to explain how the UN is the victim, and how it dares say it should be get for corruption. Video 8 from Minute 8:40. Haq said, This is the position of our Legal Council. Now Inner City Press has asked above. Watch this site. The UN even refused to tell the prosecution whom it spoke to for its Task Force Report, which said it has no ethical standards. The UN will ask for money, while paying nothing to the 10,000 people it killed in Haiti? Reuters doesn't even raise that - it has a conflict of interest.  UN official Ion Butnaru put the name of Ng's company Sun Kian Ip Group into a General Assembly resolution long after it was voted on, took a free trip to Macau and an iPad there. Victim? Ng's company South South News bought full page ads in the ball program of the UN Correspondents Association, then went to their ball at Cipriani and got photos with then Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. (Reuters then as now had a seat on UNCA's board, something not disclosed in its coverage of Ng and the UN). A current UN official Meena Sur was shown in the trial to have held on Ng's brochure for his planned Macau conference Center. The UN remains UNreformed. Inner City Press, which has covered the scandal from the beginning and remains restricted by the UN for its coverage, rushed down to the courthouse and asked Ng Lap Seng, as he left by the side door to Worth Street, what he thinks of the UN and those there who took his money and favors, a list well beyond John Ashe and Francis Lorenzo. Periscope video here. He did not answer, understandable. He will be back in court on August 7 for arguments on if his house arrest can continue. Before Ng left, Inner City Press witnessed his lawyers leaving. They told the judge they will appeal. But now that Ng is guilty, will the UN act on those exposed as corrupt, and reverse its censorship?
 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.