Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Russian Could Get 60 years in Oil for Food Scandal

Uncovered by Federal Investigator David N. Kelley, Mr. Alexander Yakovlev, 52, allegedly accepted money under unlawful terms. He was a Russian procurement officer for the UN. He was accused of receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes from companies doing business with the United Nations.

Yesterday, August 8, 2005, he plead guilty to three of the counts against him. They were wire fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud and money laundering. The charges could carry a penalty of up to 60 years in prison.
Monday's events also signaled that U.N. investigators and prosecutors have expanded their probes beyond the oil program to include allegations of corruption in other parts of the U.N. bureaucracy. [read the whole story]
Mr. Annan waived Mr. Yakovlev's diplomatic immunity from prosecution Monday. He is also prepared to do the same in the case of son, Mr. Sevan. While this sounds good on paper, Mr. Sevan has fled to Cyprus, which has no extradiction treaty for financial matters. So...your guess is as good as anyone's as to whether he will face charges.

Mr. Yakovlev was released on a $400,000 bond. His travel arrangements have been taken away so he cannot flee. It may be that he is cooperating with the investigators, because his lawyer believes he will receive a lighter sentence.

A summary report will be prepared by September of this year for the UN and the US House of Representatives and the Senate. At that time, there should be more answers...and more questions!

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