Members of Paul Volcker’s Independent Inquiry Committee on Tuesday revealed that Iqbal Riza, the former chief of staff, shredded thousands of documents that might have shed light on Annan’s involvement in the Oil-for-Food scandal and that Riza acted in contravention of one of his own directives.
Tuesday’s report said Annan did not improperly use his influence to help the Swiss-based Cotecna contracting firm win an Iraq Oil-for-Food contract, even though his son, Kojo Annan, worked for the company. The report did say, however, that Annan didn’t do enough to investigate the connections between his son, Cotecna and Oil-for-Food, and that the lack of further oversight could have prevented some of the gross mismanagement of the program.
The IIC found that Riza allowed documents of potential relevance to the Volcker investigation to be shredded by his staff, even though he was aware of the ongoing probe.
On April 12, 2004, as the Oil-for-Food scandal gathered steam, Riza sent letters to the heads of the nine U.N.-related agencies that administered Oil-for-Food in northern Iraq, suggesting they cooperate with the investigation and “take all necessary steps to collect, preserve and secure all files, records and documents” relating to the program.