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Ban Ki-moon Uses Diary To Deny One Bribery Charge, But What'll It Say Of Nephew, Myanmar?

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, January 23 – Ban Ki-moon left the UN on January 1 and tellingly his first move was to take legal action against the press. Before he left, he named his own son in law Siddarth Chatterjee to the top UN top in Kenya.

  In South Korea, Ban Ki-moon's campaign is in trouble, as his long decade of corruption and censorship are exposed (see today's Sisa Journal, and this in English from Hankyoreh last week).

The emptiness of Ban Ki-moon's policies hasn't helped, either. As Yongin University professor Choi Chang-ryul put it, "Strategic ambiguity only works in diplomacy, not in domestic politics."

  Actually, Ban's vacuity didn't work in diplomacy either, at least at the UN. Look at the slaughter in Yemen, the failure to follow through in Burundi, the active cover up of war crimes, including those of his own son in law, in Sri Lanka.

   Desperately, Ban Ki-moon proxy  Park Min-sik at a press conference at the National Assembly today unveiled what he called Ban's diary to purportedly rebut one of the many bribery charges surrounded Ban (he did not address the UN-era charges.)

But this Ban diary should be sought in connection with his claim not to know of the activities of his nephew, brother Ban Ki Sang and brother Ban Ki Ho.

  Now the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York has asked South Korea to arrest and extradite Ban Ki-moon's brother Ban Ki Sang. Other questions raised by Inner City Press are still unanswered, as reported on in Seoul, here.

  Inner City Press has asked the UN's - and until recently Ban's - top three spokespeople for "comment on the US government formal request to South Korea to extradite Ban Ki Sang, and again, was the UN ever contacted by prosecutors about Ban Ki-moon or his family members?"

  Meanwhile in South Korea, tellingly in a canned statement, Ban Ki-moon has claimed that he had "absolutely no knowledge" - but as far back as May 15, 2015 Inner City Press asked Ban's spokespeople, in a public noon briefing, about the violations of his nephew Dennis Bahn. May 15, 2015 video here. See also this, and this video, from May 2015.

  Equally without basis, Ban Ki-moon who is not part of the South Korean (or formally US) government has claimed that discussions on extradition between these two will be "strict and transparent."

Ban can't promise that, and transparency is the exact opposite of how he ran the UN, including refusing to answer when Qatar paid for his travel then having Inner City Press which asked evicted and restricted still.

But now it seems the cover up by censorship is crumbling.

   Just as Ban left his brother Ban Ki Sang and his nephew Dennis Bahn, of whom Inner City Press has asked Ban's UN spokespeople since at latest May 2015, were indicted for bribery. Bahn was described using his family connections - Ban Ki-moon - to try to sell real estate in Vietnam.

  Inner City Press' questions to Ban's longtime spokesman Stephane Dujarric were referred to a Ban supporter in Seoul, Lee Do-woon, at a number which was never answered. On January 17, after Inner City Press appeared on TBS radio in South Korea about Ban's corruption and censorship, Dujarric provided a number for a second spokesman: Yoon Won-joong.

  After speaking with him, Inner City Press on January 18 asked UN deputy spokesman Farhan Haq, video here, UN transcript here:

Inner City Press: I guess it was Stéphane Dujarric that sent the phone number of a second Ban Ki-moon Spokesman.  I did speak to him, but in fact, the coverage there is giving rise to a question I have to ask you as the UN.  There’s a story in today’s Korea Times, the title of which is “Prosecutors say Ban Ki-moon was ‘indeed on bribery list.’”  And it describes a list that was provided by Mr Park of Taekwang Industry, saying he had given money to Ban Ki-moon during the time frame that he was Secretary-General.  So the question becomes… there are… obviously, there are questions to Ban Ki-moon there.  The question becomes, when did South Korean prosecutors -- because this article says that what would have held them up was… was immunity, that, as Secretary-General, they would be unclear whether they could even question him or go… or look into this matter.  Was the UN contacted by the prosecutors about this Park list?  And, if so, what did they do?

Deputy Spokesman:  No, I don’t have any comment on that.

Inner City Press:  It’s a UN question.  I mean, do you acknowledge… because I talked to the guy for about five minutes yesterday, but he said those are UN questions.

Deputy Spokesman:  I don’t actually have any comment on this.

  Well, the UN will have to. We'll have more on this.

 Late on January 17, from New York, Inner City Press reached Yoon Won-joong and asked him when Ban Ki-moon knew that his nephew was using his name to try to sell real estate, and what he did.

  Yoon Won-joong said "I don't know when, exactly, he knew about it." It is an important question.

   Yoon Won-joong told Inner City Press, "he has no further comment at this point. Maybe later on, he may make several announcements in relation to that issue... I can ask him how he tried to proceed this issue... Then I'll be aware how he stands."

  We'll be waiting. For now, given push-back, here is the complete audio, on SoundCloud, here.

  "He will be joining a political party, probably, after Chinese New Year. The UN doesn't want to mention about him anymore. He came back to Korea as a general citizen and he wants to stay on that status for a while."

  Maybe forever. Not ready for prime time.  Yoon Won-joong ended the call asking to be sent a text. He received these two:

"since Inner City Press in May 2015 asked the UN spokespeople about Dennis Bahn using Ban Ki-moon's name to try to sell the building in Vietnam (and working at UN landlord Colliers), when did Mr. Ban Ki-moon become aware of each of those? And what did he do?"

"there is also the question of Ban Ki Ho: when did Ban Ki-moon become aware of Ban Ki Ho's business in Myanmar, what does he know about the UN delegation the Myanmar government lists Ban Ki Ho being a part of, or any other UN system meeting with Myanmar officials with Ban Ki Ho attended?"

  We are awaiting answers.

  Ban's scripted re-entry to South Korea has featured the kissing of babies, the mis-introduction of money into the express train subway, and claims he advocated for the downtrodden - despite selling out 10,000 dead Haitians, and more Yemenis than that.

  But questions of corruption and nepotism have continued to mount.

  On January 16-17 Inner City Press, which Ban had evicted from the UN as it reported on his corruption, was interviewed on Seoul's TBS Radio show "News Factory of Kim Ou-Joon," their transcript here (just machine-translate), Periscope here. 

 The topics TBS Radio asked about included Ban Ki-sang, Dennis Bahn, Ban Ki Ho and Ban Ki-moon's eviction and restriction of Inner City Press, which remains ongoing under Ban's holdover head of DPI Cristina Gallach. Some excerpts:

Q: It has been Mr. Ban 's brother since a few years ago. Mr. And Collier International, whose son Bahn Joo Hyun joined the company and sold the Vietnamese building. Does this company have anything to do with the United Nations?
Matthew: I have been suspicious of Dennis Bahn for a long time before this indictment. Because Denis Bahn was working for Collier International, Colliers International could be said to be a lease for a UN building. It is a company that receives rent from the United Nations. I used to ask the United Nations if Dennis Bahn could work at Colliers International. Before Mr. Ban Joo tried to sell a building in Vietnam, I think there is a problem in his own work that Ban Ki-moon has worked for a company that his relatives can call a lease of the United Nations. I was not convinced at all. I argued that there should be provisions for the benefit of UN affiliates for the relatives of senior UN personnel. I already asked Stephane Dujarric, a spokesman for Ban Ki -moon in May 2015, about Ban 's nephew. Information about this case has been released since 2015. In fact, not only that, but Mr. Banjo knows that he has been fined for manipulating documents in addition to the charges. But the United Nations has not responded to this and other reporters in charge of the United Nations have not covered the case. To say that Ban Ki-moon does not know about this incident is not making sense at all.

  Except to outgoing US Ambassador Samantha Power...

   On January 13, when Inner City Press asked outgoing US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power about the indictment of Ban Ki-moon's brother and nephew, who used Ban's and UN's name to try to sell a building in Vietnam. 

  Tellingly, Samantha Power said no comment, "that does not involve the UN." Video here. That is false - the indictment describes Ban Ki-moon's nephew Dennis Bahn using the UN General Assembly to angle to meet the Amir of Qatar, which Ban Ki-moon in fact did, on September 24, 2013.

  But it's a two-way streets. One of Ban's very first announcements in South Korea is that he supports the US' deployment of THAAD missiles.

One hand washes the other. But one hand is leaving, and the other may well lose. Watch this site.

 Even on his main claim, of being a solution to the North Korea problems, Ban Ki-moon has been a failure. Click here for 2011 coverage from Inner City Press, which Ban Ki-moon is desperation in 2016 would have his head of "Communications" Cristina Gallach evict from the UN, and restrict still. How different is Ban Ki-moon from is portrayal of Kim Jong-un?

  Interest in South Korea is growing about Ban Ki-moon's brother Ban Ki-ho's mining in Myanmar, including Ki-ho not only being on a "UN delegation" as ICP first reported, but having a January 21, 2015 meeting with Myanmar officials - and UN officials. We'll have more on this: including on an upcoming South Korean radio program.

  Ban's moonlighting mentor Han Seung-soo was allowed by Ban to be a UN official while his Doosan Infracore sold desalinization equipment in the UAE, where Han gave speeches - and sold equipment to a gold miner (hmm) in Myanmar.

And after leaving the UN, Ban openly enlisted a person still in the UN job he'd given him, Jeffrey Sachs, to campaign for South Korea's presidency with him. This is now reported by CNBC as well, here.

Inner City Press on January 9 asked Ban's holdover spokesman Stephane Dujarric about Sachs' comments and Dujarric said, as he so often does without coming back with anything, that he will look into it. Video here.

This while media reports link “full time” UN official Kim Won-soo to Ban's wannabe campaign.

  Ban Ki-moon has used and abused the UN, not only the General Assembly resolution he is ignoring by running, but by using public taxpayers' money to further his own ambition.

In his final year Ban evicted Inner City Press from the UN, where still under his successor it remains restricted to minders to cover events on the UN's second floor.

  Back in 2009, when Inner City Press reported on Ban's nepotism in connection with a promotion of Ban's son in law, an invitation to lunch came from South Korea's Mission to the UN.

Then deputy ambassador Kim Bong-hyun used the lunch to berate Inner City Press on how to cover (and not cover) Ban. (The article, and his full reply, are here). Now he's listed on Ban's campaign team, along with still UN official Kim Won-soo and former South Korean Ambassadors to the UN Kim Sook and Oh Joon.

  Oh Joon has just given an interview claiming that press criticism of Ban Ki-moon is of his "inclusive leadership." How about his nepotism: son in law promoted to top UN job in Kenya, nephew with UN landlord, brother Ki-ho mining in Myanmar after being on a UN delegation?

  Tellingly, the UN's Office of Internal Oversight Services never looked into or acted on these; Ban through still at the UN Cristina Gallach had Inner City Press evicted and still restricted, still even on January 9, 2017 harassed for daring to cover the UN...

Sachs, Ban and his fan club, UN Censorship Alliance, UN Photo

   In early January, Inner City Press asked Kim Won-soo directly, when will you be leaving the UN? He refused to answer, backing away smiling. But it is no joke, to take public funds while reportedly on the campaign team of a political candidate. We'll have more on this.


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