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UN releases rules on oil-for-food inquiry

The rules have been released to facilitate probe by member states into the findings of the IIC under its former head Paul Volcker.

india Updated: Dec 23, 2006 12:34 IST

The United Nations has released rules regarding use of documents of the Iraq oil-for-food scam inquiry that led to the ouster of Indian external affairs minister K Natwar Singh from the government.

The rules have been released to facilitate continuing investigations by member states into the findings of the Independent Inquiry Committee (IIC), under its former head Paul Volcker, following publication of its final report Oct 27, the world body said.

The final report revealed a network of kickbacks and surcharges involving companies registered in a large number of countries. Secretary-General Kofi Annan called on member states to take action against illegal practices by companies under their jurisdiction.

Also in response to the report, Annan instituted a number of reforms aimed at promoting greater transparency and accountability across the UN system.

In India, the Justice Pathak Inquiry Committee has already indicted Natwar Singh for abusing his position in procuring contracts in the Oil-for-Food scam while giving a clean chit to the ruling Congress party.

In its preliminary report, the Paul Volcker committee had named Natwar Singh as a non-contractual beneficiary. He was forced to resign from his post following the charge. It had also named the Congress party as well as many Indian companies of being non-contractual beneficiaries in the scandal.

Several politicians in India, Russia, France, Britain, Italy and other nations who were allegedly given favours by Iraq's deposed ruler Saddam Hussain in his quest to get the 1990 UN sanctions lifted, were named in the report.

First Published: Dec 23, 2006 12:07 IST