So the man who oversaw a $60 billion global scam—also known as the U.N. Oil-for-Food Program—has been rightfully disgraced. In January 2007, the United States charged Benon Sevan with bribery and conspiracy to commit fraud. Sevan, a native Cypriot, continues to evade justice by hiding out on his home island—with which the U.S. has no extradition treaty.
The U.N.’s reaction to the man at the center of a conspiracy involving prominent politicians, senior U.N. officials, and more than 2,000 companies in 66 countries? It intends to pay Sevan’s nearly $1 million legal fees. Despite the fact that the U.N.’s own investigation found Sevan to be complicit in the bribery scheme.
Why should Americans care about yet one more in a long list of U.N. outrages? Because, as Nile Gardiner and Steven Groves point out, the U.N. footing Sevan’s legal tab “is an affront to American taxpayers, who currently give over $5 billion a year to the United Nations and deserve accountability and respect for the rule of law.”
For more on how the U.N. rewards criminals and on what President Obama and Congress should do, see Gardiner and Groves’ “Oil-for-Food Revisited.”