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Everyone named in report was notified: Volcker
November 04, 2005 11:51 IST
Last Updated: November 05, 2005 00:00 IST
Paul Volcker, who probed corruption in the United Nations' oil-for-food programme, on Thursday said all those who were named in the report were notified and given a chance to clarify on the contents about them.
External Link: 'Report based on Iraqi govt documents'
External Affairs Minister K Natwar Singh, who is named in the report, had claimed he was not contacted before the report was publicised.
Volcker said he was not aware Natwar Singh was the external affairs minister of India.
"I came to know on Thursday that Natwar Singh is the Foreign Minister," Volcker said.
Former Federal Reserve chairman Volcker's report alleged that 1.8 billion dollars in bribes and illegal surcharges were paid to the regime of former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein.
"We have indicated carefully that everybody was notified that they are going to be listed and we also indicated what their response was if any.
"If the response was that of denial we listed it and if the response in a few cases was 'yes we did it' that was listed. The rather common response was 'If we did it, we didn't realise we were doing it'," Volcker said.
He said 2,500 companies and individuals were listed in the report.
"According to Iraqi records or other cooperating records-- we may not have them in particular cases-- these companies were involved in favoured allocation of oil or goods purchases and paid surcharges or kickbacks. The only evidence in some cases-- I don't know about this particular [Natwar's] case-- is Iraqi records," he said.
Meanwhile, Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Natwar are understood to have held a meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday morning.