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Annan Orders Disciplinary Action Against UN Oil-for-Food Executives


United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan has ordered disciplinary action against senior U.N. officials who worked on the oil-for-food program in Iraq.

Mr. Annan said in a statement Thursday a report about alleged corruption in the U.N. program has turned up "extremely troubling evidence of wrongdoing," and he pledged that no one involved would be shielded from prosecution.

The independent report, released Thursday, concluded that the head of the oil-for-food program, Benon Sevan, seriously undermined the integrity of the United Nations by his conduct. U.N. disciplinary proceedings have begun against Mr. Sevan and another senior official, Joseph Stephanides. Both Mr. Sevan and Mr. Stephanides are Cypriot nationals.

Critics say billions of dollars were siphoned away from the oil-for-food program, which was devised after the first Gulf War in an attempt to help Iraq's impoverished civilian population.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and AP.

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