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CEFC Diamond to Hunter Biden for UN WFP UNaudited By SG Guterres Also CEFC Linked

By Matthew Russell Lee, Video, Scope Audio

SDNY COURTHOUSE, July 6 – Patrick Ho was sentenced to 36 months in jail on March 25 for UN bribery and having "sold weapons enthusiastically," along with a $400,000 fine imposed by U.S. District Court for the Soutern District of New York Judge Loretta Preska.

During his trial, covered every day by Inner City Press which was and is banned from entering the UN amid its reporting linking current UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres to the scandal through the Gulbenkian Foundation from his he received payments undisclosed on his public financial form covering 2016, an audio clip was played for the jury, see below.

  Guterres has refused to even do an audit of CEFC's bribes in the UN system; after Inner City Press asked him why, Guterres' security roughed Inner City Press up and has banned it 367 days.

 Now in July The New Yorker reported on CEFC and Hunter Biden, in his role with World Food Program USA The paragraphs: "Hunter was on the board of the World Food Program USA, a nonprofit that generates support for the U.N. World Food Programme, and he had hoped that Ye would make a large aid donation. At dinner that night, they discussed the donation, and then the conversation turned to business opportunities. Hunter offered to use his contacts to help identify investment opportunities for Ye’s company, CEFC China Energy, in liquefied-natural-gas projects in the United States. After the dinner, Ye sent a 2.8-carat diamond to Hunter’s hotel room with a card thanking him for their meeting.... Hunter began negotiating a deal for CEFC to invest forty million dollars in a liquefied-natural-gas project on Monkey Island, in Louisiana, which, he said, was projected to create thousands of jobs. “I was more proud of it than you can imagine,” he told me. In the summer of 2017, Ye talked with Hunter about his concern that U.S. law-enforcement agencies were investigating one of his associates, Patrick Ho. Hunter, who sometimes works as a private lawyer, agreed to represent Ho, and tried to figure out whether Ho was in legal jeopardy in the U.S. That November, just after Ye and Hunter agreed on the Monkey Island deal, U.S. authorities detained Ho at the airport. He was later sentenced to three years in prison for his role in a multiyear, multimillion-dollar scheme to bribe top government officials in Chad and Uganda in exchange for business advantages for CEFC. In February, 2018, Ye was detained by Chinese authorities, reportedly as part of an anti-corruption investigation, and the deal with Hunter fell through. Hunter said that he did not consider Ye to be a “shady character at all,” and characterized the outcome as 'bad luck.'"

   Apparently Hunter Biden didn't review what Ho and Ye were charged with, including using the UN to offer cash and weapons to Idriss Deby in exchange for oil, to unpack the articles single reference to Chad. CEFC also offered to buy the Partex oil company of Gulbenkian Foundation which paid UNSG Antonio Guterres in 2016, payments Guterres failed to include in his public financial disclosure covering 2016. The New Yorker should have, and still should, cover this. Guterres Teflon reign is wearing thin.

  On May 31, there were sealed filings to the SDNY court in the Ho case, filed in the vault. What might they be? Inner City Press has asked the US about any process or request to transfer Ho. They say he is still in the Metropolitan Correctional Center in lower Manhattan:

CHI PING PATRICK HO Age: 69  Sex: Male Located at: New York MCC

 Here was the "sealing" notice:

The following transaction was entered on 5/31/2019 at 2:44 PM EDT and filed on 5/30/2019  Case Name:    USA v. Ho Case Number:    1:17-cr-00779-LAP Filer:     Document Number:    232(No document attached) Docket Text:  SEALED DOCUMENT placed in vault. (rz)

  Moves are afoot in the pro-China leadership of Hong Kong to spring Ho free from U.S. prison - a request it would seem Guterres and his UN would support, if only quietly. (In the interim Guterres visited China and didn't to Xi raise the Uighurs, much less China's repeated bribery in his UN.) Hong Kong New People's Party chairwoman Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee urged Chief Executive Carrie Lam  to file a request to the United States to transfer Ho to Hong Kong to serve the remainder of his sentence.  "According to my understanding, if the three sides - namely Hong Kong, the United States and Ho - agree, he can be transferred to Hong Kong or sent to a hospital, so that he won't suffer that much," Ip said.  Lam said she would consider Ip's suggestion.  "I will ask the Secretary for Security [John Lee Ka-chiu] to study the arrangement with the United States and our legal basis, whether it's us or the person involved who should make the request," Lam said. And if the UN supports, who would oppose this as it should be opposed? We'll have more on this.

  In the audio clip, Ho discusses offering bribes to now deceased UN President of the General Assembly John Ashe, with Sheri Yan. Inner City Press is today uploading that audio, here.

  Yan pled guilty to bribing Ashe as part of the Ng Lap Seng UN bribery trial, which Inner City Press asked covered daily before it was roughed up and banned from the UN by Guterres. But now Yan in a prison novel and craven revisionist profile by Kirsty Needham, China correspondent for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, is claiming: "A related UN bribery investigation involving Ashe netted another conviction in March, with former Hong Kong politician Patrick Ho sentenced to three years.  Yan says she met Ho at a conference in Hong Kong she attended as chief executive of Ashe’s Global Sustainability Foundation. They later attended a public dinner in New York. They have “politely” spoken a few times.  “I did meet him – that is all.  "To say I am working with him to influence the UN is a very wrong statement.'" Apparently The Age has not heard the extended audio of Yan and Ho discussing quid pro quo bribery of Ashe. SMH - shaking my head. We'll have more on this. 

  Back on March 25, Inner City Press asked Patrick Ho's defense lawyer Edward Y. Kim if he will appeal. We are considering our options, Kim said. Post-sentencing Periscope video here.

  Inner City Press immediately emailed a question to the UN and Guterres and his spokesmen on March 25, and on March 26, and on March 27, this: "March 27-3: On UN bribery, on March 25 Patrick Ho of the China Energy Fund Committee was sentenced to 36 months in prison and a $400,000 fine for his UN bribery; in today's proceeding Ho was described as using a UN NGO to "sell weapons enthusiastically." What now is SG Antonio Guterres' comment and action? Will he now begin an audit of CEFC in the UN?  What is the SG's comment and response to this 22 minute documentary about Patrick Ho and CEFC's bribes through the UN including Mr. Guterres' refusal to answer Inner City Press' question on it on 5 December 2018 at Min 17.  Again, the  sentencing memorandum includes quotes from his e-mails regarding aiming to violate sanctions and deal in arms not only to Chad but also South Sudan, Libya & Qatar. What is the SG's comment and action? Again, why has no audit even been begun of CEFC, at least like the one Mr. Guterres' predecessor did of Ng Lap Seng's Sun Kian Ip Foundation? Why did Mr Guterres omit payments from Gulbenkian Foundation, which sought to sell its oil company Partex to CEFC China Energy, from his public financial disclosure covering 2016? Where are the more recent public financial disclosures - has Mr. Guterres ended that program? Why?"

  On March 28 this came in from the UN and we publish it in full: "On your question March 27-3, we can say that the Organization takes note of the sentencing of Mr. Chi Ping Patrick Ho to 36 months’ imprisonment and a US$400,000 fine. The UN has cooperated extensively in this matter by making thousands of pages of documents available and providing access to its personnel." What about an audit? Why hasn't Guterres disclosed his own financial links? We'll have more on this, and on his and the UN's censorship.

  During the sentencing proceeding it was said that Ho had, in the MCC, mentored another inmate sentenced by Preska. (The odds of that need to be calculated.) The MCC bought Ho a violin; Richenthal said Ho had hidden and liquidated a Swiss bank account while incarcerated. While no Supervised Release was ordered, with the understanding that Ho will be removed from the U.S. once his sentence is up, it has emerged that Ho's passport has expired and has not been renewed. We'll have more on this.

  While UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres was refusing throughout 2018 to begin any UN audit into China Energy Fund Committee, implicated in the UN bribery prosecution US v Patrick Ho, Guterres had a secret: his role on the board of Gulbenkian Foundation which was trying to sell its Partex Oil affiliate to CEFC. See Inner City Press' first exclusive report here.

   Now later of March 25 Ho is set to be sentenced by U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Preska. In the run up, RTHK Television in Hong Kong has broadcast a 21 minute documentary, complete with Guterres refusing to answer Inner City Press' questions about the verdict, here at Minute 17. With 300,000 views in Chinese, it is set to be re-released in English after the sentencing.

  While Guterres continues to ban from entry the Press which asked him about his CEFC links, now in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York the sentencing of Patrick Ho, long set for March 14, has been pushed back to March 25. Now the government has filed its sentencing submission, asking for at east five years imprisonment and a fine of $400,000. It notes Ho's own emails saying that it is the Belt and Road Initiative that is up for sentencing / implicated: " In one email, for example, he stated: “Please tell SH [i.e., Shanghai, the headquarters of CEFC China] that we need solidarity most at this time, and cannot be divided. . . . Please tell SH, if we are on the same line, with their support, I will fight to the very end. For it is not only HO who is on trial, it is [CEFC NGO], the Company, Country and Chinese values are on trial.” And in a phone call, he stated that “they,” apparently referring to the Government, are using him to get to the “big tiger,” and to discredit “The Belt and Road,” an initiative of the Chinese government." But it is the UN too, so corrupted under Guterres there has yet to be an audit of CEFC in the UN, its business with other PGAs and UN officials, its invitation to Peter Thomson and others - and its attempt to buy the oil company of Gulbenkian Foundation which paid money to Guterres. Here from the sentencing submission is an indication of whom and what these UN officials do business with: " the defendant sent his assistant an email stating, “I am going to BJ [i.e., Beijing] this Friday to see [the Chairman of CEFC NGO and CEFC China] on Sat afternoon. The documents I want to send him before hand in separate items are: . . . 7. Iranian connection (brief).”7  Other items in the numbered list included “[a] few PR items in the US with photo of PGA Kutesa,” “Chad President Report (brief),” “Croatia Oil company,” “PAZ Oil company,” and “Husky Oil team (Canada).” On the same date, the defendant sent his assistant another email, attaching a document, which stated, in pertinent part: 7) Iranian Connection . . . Iran has money in a Bank in china which is under sanction. Iran wishes to purchase precious metal with this money. The precious metal is available through a Bank in HK which cannot accept money from the Bank in China which holds the money but is under sanction. The Iranian agent is looking for a Chinese company acting as a middle man in such transactions and will pay commission. (details to be presented orally) The Iranian connection has strong urge to establish trading relationship with us in oil and products . . . . The following year, in June 2015, the defendant received an email that stated, in pertinent part: “The Iranian team will arrive in BJ . . . . See the attached.” The attachment referenced in the email was a PowerPoint presentation entitled “Presentation to Potential Partners Iran Petroleum Investments'"... an individual sent the defendant an email, stating, “I have the list and end user agreement. Pls advise next step.” On the same day, the defendant replied, in pertinent part, “Find a way to pass them onto me and we can execute that right away[].” The individual replied, “Attached. [W]e have the funding and processing mechanisms in place. If it works nice there will be much more. Also for S. Sudan.” The attachment to this email was a document entitled “End User Certificate,” certifying that the user of the goods in question would be the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Libya. The goods listed on the document included numerous arms, including “mortar rounds,” “ammunition,” “anti-tank . . . launcher,” “rocket launchers,” and “grenade launchers.” The following month, the defendant sent an email that stated in pertinent part: “It so turns out Qatar also needs urgently a list of toys from us. But for the same reason we had for Libya, we cannot sell directly to them. Is there a way you could act as an intermediary in both cases?” The person whom the defendant emailed replied: “Qatar good chance bc there is no embargo. Libya is another case bc going against an embargo is tricky.” The defendant responded: “Qatar needs new toys quite urgently. Their chief is coming to China and we hope to give them a piece of good news. Please confirm soonest.” Weapons, new toys for Qatar, the offer of weapons to Chad for oil - all through the UN, unaudited by SG Guterres with his own conflict of interest and financial connection to CEFC. We'll have more on this. Ho  filed a more than one hundred page sentencing submission, the memo accompanying which says "Beginning in 2013, the CEFC Think Tank also held annual symposia at the United Nations (“UN”) devoted to issues raised at the most recent annual political convention in China. In addition, the CEFC Think Tank, in consultation with the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (“UN-DESA”), established and funded the “Powering the Future We Want” grant—an annual $1 million award for a promising sustainable energy project (the “Energy Grant”). The CEFC Think Tank donated approximately $2 million to the UN every year to fund the prize and its administration." And yet Guterres has never audited this, choosing instead to rough up and ban the Press which asked him why he wouldn't audit (the answer seems to be Guterres' paid position with the Gulbenkian Foundation which tried to sell its oil company to CEFC). Ho's sentencing submission index  lists Frederick Tschernutter and former Shell Oil CEO John D. Hofmeister. UNSG Antonio Guterres, of course, has refused to audit Ho's CEFC's activities in the amid his conflict of interest and censorship. In the UN Committee on Non Governmental Organizations on January 21 the US belatedly requested the suspension or dis-accreditation of CEFC from the UN. This is what Guterres has refused to act on for more than a year, while concealing his links to the group. CEFC was given until Friday, January 25 to answer on the issues. The acting chief of the UN NGO branch on Friday afternoon said it had not responded. Pakistan and Russia raised questions if this meant that as a matter of precedent it should have its status withdrawn. On January 28 following a written inquiry by Inner City Press a self-described diplomat on the NGO committee confirmed that "the NGO Committee recommended that ECOSOC consultative status be withdrawn for CEFC.  ECOSOC will decide whether to approve the NGO Committee’s recommendation at its June 2019 ECOSOC management meeting." So they're still in. Guterres' cover up of his link to the group remains unaddressed - with no answers from his spokesmen Stephane Dujarric and for this entire week, Farhan Haq. We'll have more on this.
 Inner City Press on the morning of January 21 wrote to Guterres, Alison Smale and their spokesmen: "January 21-1: Please immediately provide the SG's response on the request made this morning in the UN NGO Committee to disaccredit China Energy Fund Committee whose Patrick Ho was indicted and convicted of UN bribery, explain why SG Guterres never even started a OIOS audit of CEFC and why he omitted his paid directorship in Gulbenkian Foundation from his UN Public Financial Disclosure form covering 2016, and on Gulbenkian trying to sell its Partex Oil to CEFC China Energy in 2018." There's been no answer - as there have been no answers from Guterres and Smale and Dujarric for two weeks despite promises to UNSR David Kaye and on camera. And the UN's "meeting summary" omitted even Patrick Ho's name, much less the UNSG Guterres never audited CEFC as it tried to buy Partex Oil from the Gulbenkian Foundation Guterres was a paid board member of while omitting it from his public financial disclosure covering 2016. Here is the entirety of the UN meetings coverage on this: "The representative of the United States, expressing regret that some organizations come to the United Nations to perpetrate fraudulent and illicit activities, said her delegation wrote to the Committee last week requesting that the special consultative status granted in 2011 to the China Energy Fund Committee be withdrawn, after one of its officials was convicted by a United States federal court in November 2018 on corruption, money laundering and conspiracy charges.  The Committee must take prompt action, she said, adding that if the organization in question wishes to respond, it should do so before 25 January."

  Inner City Press also wrote to three at the US Mission to the UN: "I noticed in the UN NGO Committee this morning that USUN belatedly requested a review of China Energy Fund Committee, whose Patrick Ho was indicted for UN bribery, FCPA and money laundering in 2017, convicted in 2018.    This is a Press request for a copy of the USUN statement read out in the NGO Committee, for the materials reference there in and distributed to Committee members, and for the Mission's / Amb Cohen's and Amb. Currie's comment on it, why it took so long, and on UNSG Antonio Guterres having not disclosed his paid directorship of Gulbenkian Foundation in his UN Public Financial Disclosure form covering 2016 and refusal to start any OIOS audit of CEFC, which was trying to buy Partex Oil and Gas from Gulbenkian in 2018.     Also, on Guterres and Alison Smale's ongoing ban on US-based investigative Inner City Press even entering the UN, without hearing or appeal, see 2 January 2019 Kaska-eque denial of accreditation, below." USUN Spokesperson John Degory responded, so far, with the text of Deputy Rep to ECOSOC Courtney Nemroff's remarks including: "Last week, we sent a Diplomatic Note to the Committee’s outgoing Chair and to all members of this Committee with our request that this Committee recommend withdrawing the ESOCOC special consultative status of the NGO China Energy Fund Committee, or CEFC, which was granted in 2011.  This request was carefully considered and is being made in the first session of this Committee following the conviction of an individual in U.S. federal court on serious criminal charges relating to his use of the organization as a platform for criminal activity, the details of which are provided in the Diplomatic Note. It is a shame to see an NGO subvert and manipulate its ECOSOC accreditation in this manner, so it is with deep disappointment that we bring this situation to the attention of the Committee today. We are making this request before the full Committee in the full interest in due diligence, transparency, and openness. We believe it is important that the Committee carry out its responsibility to protect and ensure the continued integrity of the ECOSOC accreditation process by taking prompt action to address this case.  CEFC is registered in both Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China and in the State of Virginia in the United States as a not-for-profit or charitable organization. CEFC received ECOSOC special consultative status in 2011.  On December 5, 2018, a jury in a Manhattan federal court found Chi Ping Patrick Ho, CEFC’s Deputy Chairman and Secretary General, guilty of taking part in a multi-year, multimillion-dollar scheme to bribe foreign leaders in exchange for business advantages for CEFC China Energy a Shanghai-based corporate entity that was the primary financial benefactor of the CEFC. Mr. Ho was convicted of violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, international money laundering, and conspiracy to commit both. According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, he utilized CEFC’s ECOSOC special consultative status to access UN resources and people and advance commercial goals, including through bribery schemes. We also have been unable to document any activity by this organization out of its Virginia-based location since Mr. Ho’s arrest in 2016, and note that it has not filed the requisite tax documents required of not-for-profit organizations in the United States since that date. We have provided all NGO Committee members with further details on the case, including a press release from the U.S. Department of Justice on the conviction, and are prepared to provide member states with any additional information they may require.  ECOSOC resolution 1996/31 governs the process for ECOSOC consultative status. Article 57(a) of 1996/31 stipulates that the consultative status of non-governmental organizations shall be suspended up to three years or withdrawn “if an organization, either directly or through its affiliates or representatives acting on its behalf, clearly abuses its status by engaging in a pattern of acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations.”  Article 57(b) of 1996/31 further stipulates that consultative status be suspended up to three years or withdrawn “if there exists substantiated evidence of influence from proceeds resulting from internationally recognized criminal activities such as the illicit drugs trade, money-laundering or the illegal arms trade.”  In view of the conviction of Mr. Ho on money laundering charges and the use of the organization for criminal activity and bribery activities that involved the use of the organization’s consultative status and other organizational resources, the United States has determined that a request to withdraw consultative status in accordance with Article 57 of ECOSOC resolution 1996/31 is appropriate and necessary. We believe the Committee has a responsibility to ensure that ECOSOC special consultative status is not misused as a platform for criminal activity.  We understand, per ECOSOC resolution 1996/31, that CEFC has the right to respond to the request to recommend withdrawal of its consultative status. We request that the Secretariat inform CEFC of its right to respond immediately. We further request that if CEFC chooses to respond, that the Secretariat request it do so before the tenth meeting of this Committee on Friday, January 25, to then allow this Committee sufficient time to consider the U.S. request further. We also remain prepared to provide additional information regarding this matter to the Secretariat, and encourage the Committee and the Secretariat to handle all proceedings in this case as openly and transparently as possible." But will the US administration, or if necessary individual members of Congress, ensure that Guterres is held accountable for the cover up and proliferation of corruption and censorship during his tenure? CEFC has until January 25 to respond. China did not respond in the ill-attended Committee meeting which Inner City Press, banned from entry by Guterres, never the less covered. Watch this site.

  Inner City Press continues its exclusive series on some of the CEFC connections in and through the UN that should have been identified in the audit that Guterres corruptly refused to begin, with his conflict of interest. (Even his predecessor Ban Ki-moon ordered an audit after Ng Lap Seng was indicted - Guterres still hasn't after Patrick Ho was convicted.)

  One of the people identified in the Ban Ki-moon audit of Ng Lap Seng and South South News was Ion Botnaru. He was allowed to retire, after changing a UN General Assembly document along with then President of the General Assembly John Ashe, who died under indictment ostensibly crushed by his own barbell, to benefit Ng's Sun Kian Ip group. Botnaru reappears again with CEFC, here. And, crying out for audit, the President of the General Assembly who swore in Guterres, Peter Thomson of Fiji, traveled like Ashe and Vuk Jeremic and Sam Kutesa to meet CEFC's Ye Jianming in Hong Kong.

  Inner City Press has asked Guterres and his spokespeople, among many other questions, "Beyond the 37 questions from Inner City Press you refused to answer last week, still set forth below for promised answer, this is a request, given that Peter Thomson is the SG's rep on Oceans that you describe in detail Thomson's 2017 meeting with now disappeared Ye Jianming of CEFC, name which UN DSS officials were with him and what reports they filed, what their duties were; what was seen by those accompanying Thomson, at least two of whom are still in the UN (one is with China)."

  Typically, Guterres and his spokespeople did not answer. So here, pending listing those from UN Department of Safety and Security the group which roughs up the Press without accountability and maintains a retaliatory "lifetime" banned from the UN list, are the names: "During his two-day visit, the President of the UN General Assembly was accompanied by his senior advisors Abdelghani Merabet, and Zhang Yi, as well as by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs’s Director of the Division for Sustainable Development, Zhu Juwang." Now, Thomson staffer or embed Zhang Yi has gone (back, or more openly) to working for the Chinese government: "On August 14 [2018], Deputy Director-General of China International Center for Economic and Technical Exchanges Zhang Yi was invited to attend the FOCAC - Africa-China Poverty Reduction and Development Conference, an important sub-forum under the FOCAC hosted by the State Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development and co-organized by the International Poverty Reduction Center in China and the China Belt and Road Institute for Agricultural Cooperation of China Agriculture University. Attending were more than 300 participants including government officials, international organizations’ representatives, non-governmental organizations’ officials, business leaders, experts and scholars from China, United States, Japan, Denmark and 40 African countries like Angola, Botswana and Mauritius."

  What did they see during Thomson's meeting with now-known briber Ye Jianming? Zhu Juwang  is still with UN DESA; Abdelghani Merabet  is with the current PGA. We'll have more on this: the UN should be answering these questions, now.

  In 2017, the year in which CEFC's Patrick Ho was indicted and arrested for UN bribery, CEFC in the UN engaged at least twice with Lenni Montiel, including for example on 6 July 2017, and also with DESA official Pingfan Hong. Some photos here. Inner City Press before Guterres had it roughed up and banned now 176 days for its inquiries into Guterres' corruption has politely questioned both Montiel and Hong - but Guterres has made that impossible and his Spokesmen refused to answer any written questions, for more than a week now. There are more connections.

  Guterres got favors from Peter Thomson when Thomson was President of the General Assembly. Rudimentary open source research - including on the UN's own website here - finds that Thomson, like implicated Sam Kutesa and John Ashe and Vuk Jeremic, visited CEFC's Ye Jianming in Hong Kong. What was discussed? Inner City Press previously covered, critically but civilly, Thomson. Now corrupt Guterres has had Inner City Press roughed up and banned 175 days, with his Spokesman Stephane Dujarric refusing to answer any questions despite the promise of Guterres' USG Alison Smale.

   After receiving favors from Thomson as PGA, Guterres gave him a job in his Secretariat, Representative on Oceans. Here is Patrick Ho, interviewed by Guterres' DESA, on Oceans. There should have been an audit. There still should be. Another of Guterres' special advisers, Jeffrey Sachs, after denying Inner City Press' documented report Sachs was on a UN - CEFC board, abruptly closed his Twitter account, story here. Guterres goes on robo-tweeting from parts unknown, spending public money undisclosed. Guterres should explain and / or resign.  We will have more in this series.

   A now-removed Gulbenkian Foundation web page says Guterres continued as a board member into 2018. Archived here. In fact it was on 9 February 2018 that Gulbenian tweeted that Guterres was no longer on the board - AFTER it was reported that Gulbenian was trying to sell, or even had already sold, Partex to CEFC. This is called guilty knowledge.

 While Guterres' spokesman Stephane Dujarric is refusing to answer Inner City Press' written questions, contrary to promises by Guterres' Global Communicator Alison Smale, it appears Guterres' evasive defense is claiming that he left Gulbenkian in November 2016 and therefore somehow had no conflict of interest in refusing and blocking the obviously needed UN audit of CEFC after the arrest of its Patrick Ho for UN bribery. This defense is dubious.

  Why did Gulbenkian take down its webpage disclosing that Guterres remained on board into 2018? Why - sixteen months after Guterres ostensibly left - did they wait until February 2018 to tweet that he left? Because their negotiations with CEFC became public (see 2 February 2018 Bloomberg here, and 6 February MacauHub here: "CEFC China Energy buys Portugal’s Partex Oil & Gas.")

  In any event, Guterres' "2017" Financial Disclosure, which explicitly says it covered the year 2016 in which even in this new story he remained on Gulbenkian's board into November, more than 80% of the year - did not disclose his role in Gulbenkian, only on the Club of Madrid. Guterres has had previous financial disclosure omissions, for example in Portugal, here. CEFC was hardly unknown: it bought a Portuguese insurance company in November 2017, here.

    Guterres' failure to disclose and, separately and even more so, his refusal to audit CEFC in the UN was a direct conflict of interest, which he has tried to cover up by roughing up and banning Inner City Press which asked him about it. (See January 2018 press conference here, July 2018 roughing up by Guterres' UN Security here, banning letter via Press Freedom Tracker here.)

Three times now Dujarric, his deputy Farhan Haq and Office of the Spokesperson colleagues Marcia Soares Pinto and Keishamaza Rukikaire, as well as Guterres, his chief of staff Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti and Deputy SG Amina J. Mohammed have refused to answer this: "Beyond the 36 questions from Inner City Press you refused to answer last week, still set forth below for promised answer, this is a reiterated request past deadline that you (1) state when SG Guterres left his position on the Gulbenkian Foundation, (2) state why Gulbenkian was not listed on SG Guterres' public financial disclosure which covered 2016; (3) explain how it is not a conflict of interest for SG Guterres to have refused to start an audit of CEFC in the UN, as requested by Inner City Press in January 2018, given CEFC's bid for the oil business of Gulbenkian. Also, again, state why under SG Guterres there have been no updates to the UN public financial disclosures since those filed for 2016. Also, again, explain your refusal to answer any of Inner City Press' questions this week despite USG Smale's statements to GAP, me and UNSR David Kaye." No response at all, even as spokesman Dujarric for example tweets at actor Seth Rogin. Dujarric, as simply one example, on 1 March 2018 evaded Inner City Press' in-person questions about CEFC and Guterres, less than a month after Gulbenkian said Guterres was off the board, amid oil negotiations with CEFC. Video here. Then Guterres and Dujarric had Inner City Press roughed up and banned from the UN. Guterres' wife Catarina Vaz Pinto also worked for Gulbenkian. This is today's corrupt UN.

   For years Guterres received money as a board member of the Calouste Galbenkian Foundation, which despite its name is the 100% owner of Partex Oil and Gas. Partex has operations in Angola, Abu Dhabi, Brazil, Kazakhstan, the Netherlands, Oman and Portugal. It was to a Portuguese court that Guterres, while justifying no listing some of his income, disclosed in 2016 that he was paid at least € 2735 per month for his position with the Gulbenkian Foundation.

   But while a now deleted Foundation web page (archived here) stated that Guterres continued with Gulbenkian into 2018, Guterres did not list it on his most recent, and so far lone, UN Public Financial Disclosure, which covered 2016 ("Disclosing financial and other interests for the 2016 reporting year").

  So why did Guterres disclose his position with the Club of Madrid, but not with the Gulbenkian Foundation / Partex Oil and Gas? It is worth noting that Guterres' wife Catarina Vaz Pinto has also been connected to Gulbenkian.

   Following the roughing up and banning from the UN of Inner City Press which has covered the CEFC scandal throughout, Guterres' head of Global Communications Alison Smale promised UN Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression David Kaye, who asked, that the UN would still answer Inner City Press' written questions.

   But as 2018 came to a close Guterres' spokesmen Stephane Dujarric and Farhan Haq left unanswered 36 questions in a row from Inner City Press, including this: “Beyond the 35 questions from Inner City Press you refused to answer this week, this is a request on deadline that you (1) state when SG Guterres left his position on the Gulbenkian Foundation,

(2) state why Gulbenkian was not listed on SG Guterres' public financial disclosure which covered 2016;

(3) explain how it is not a conflict of interest for SG Guterres to have refused to start an audit of CEFC in the UN, as requested by Inner City Press in January 2018, given CEFC's bid for the oil business of Gulbenkian.

Also, again, state why under SG Guterres there have been no updates to the UN public financial disclosures since those filed for 2016. Also, again, explain your refusal to answer any of Inner City Press' questions this week despite USG Smale's statements to GAP, me and UNSR David Kaye. On deadline.”

   The question was also sent to the e-mail addresses of Guterres, his chief of staff Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti, his Deputy Amina J. Mohammed, and Smale, who earlier in the week told Inner City Press she would take “under advisement” her 17 August 2018 pretextual withdrawal of Inner City Press decade long UN media accreditation.
  It seems clear that Guterres and his team have engaged in censorship for corruption, to conceal a blatant conflict of interest by Guterres. It has been raised by Inner City Press to the UN Office of Internal Oversight Services, and others.  Watch this site.

Back on 5 December 2018 Patrick Ho was found guilty of seven of eight counts of violating the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and month laundering. (He was only not guilty on money laundering in Chad - where the bribe was not through any US bank but in cash, $2 million in a gift box). The evidence showed that the NGO he ran, China Energy Fund Committee, used its ongoing UN consultative status to pay bribes to Ugandan foreign minister - and Ashe's successor as President of the UN General Assembly -- Sam Kutesa.. He was working with precedessor Vuk Jeremic while Jeremic was UN PGA. CEFC even offered weapons, tanks and drones, to Chad's long time president Idriss Deby for oil blocks or a stake in the Chad Cameroon pipeline. (Inner City Press published documents here.)

The night of the verdict I asked UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres what he will do to clean up the UN, where he has left CEFC without any audit, still in consultative status with the UN. On his way from his Mercedes to a glitzy fundraiser including George and Amal Clooney, Guterres refused to answer. The next day when asked by another journalist why Guterres had refused to answer banned Inner City Press' question, his spokesman Stephane Dujarric claimed that the UN has “cooperated” with the prosecution. But the bribery group remains in the UN, unaudited.

Why has the case of US versus Ho, and now the guilty verdicts, garnered relatively so little interest, with the corruption of the UN exposed by it scarcely mentioned all? SG Guterres is hoping it goes away. It won't.

***

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