Annan 'surprised' at son's link to oil-for-food scandal

The United Nations has revealed that the son of the secretary general, Kofi Annan, worked for a company being investigated in the Iraqi oil-for-food scandal for four years longer than he first admitted.

The United Nations has revealed that the son of the secretary general, Kofi Annan, worked for a company being investigated in the Iraqi oil-for-food scandal for four years longer than he first admitted.

Mr Annan said last night he was "very disappointed and surprised" that his son Kojo had not told him the full story of his links to Cotecna in Geneva.

The oil-for-food scheme allowed Iraq, which was under UN sanctions, to export limited quantities of oil in return for food and medicine. It later emerged that Saddam Hussein diverted billions of dollars from the scheme to bribe officials.

Cotecna was hired by the UN between December 1998 and 2003 to check civilian supplies reaching Iraq under the programme.

The UN had previously stated that Mr Annan's son stopped working for Cotecna in February 1999. But a UN spokesman, Fred Eckhard, said Kojo Annan's laywers had informed a UN inquiry that he continued to receive monthly payments until February 2003.

There is no evidence that Kojo Annan, who was based in Nigeria, worked on the Iraq project. Part of the payments involved an agreement not to compete with Cotecna in west Africa after he left the firm.

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