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UN Says It Never Bought False Bomb Detector, Responding to ICP Tweet

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, May 3 -- Amid news from the trial of a British businessman for selling fake bomb detecting equipment, including reportedly to the UN in Lebanon, Inner City Press on April 23 asked Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's deputy spokesman Eduardo Del Buey if the UN got a refund:

Inner City Press: a British businessman, Jim McCormick, has been found guilty of selling various parties false bomb-detecting equipment that is essentially just a golf ball set and they sold it, he says, for 27,000 pounds, including to the UN for use in Lebanon. Now that this is a final, you know, the Old Bailey, what was that procurement? Is the UN going to recoup its funds, was any one put at risk, whatís the UNís response to having a golf ball detector as a bomb detection equipment for Lebanon?

Deputy Spokesperson Del Buey: Matthew, I donít have anything on that right now. When we get something, we will let you know.

Inner City Press: Itís in the --

Deputy Spokesperson: When we have something weíll get back to you.

  But for ten days, the UN did NOT get back to Inner City Press in any way about this. Meanwhile, evidence emerged of bribes having been paid to have the golf ball detector selected.

  On May 3, Inner City Press tweeted a reminded about the case, after it emerged that the fake bomb detectors are still in use in Baghdad.

  And lo and behold, after ten days of not responding to Inner City Press' noon briefing question, this tweet garnered a UN response, which we immediate publish in full:

Subject: Response to your tweet on UNIFIL
From: UN Spokesperson - Do Not Reply [at] un.org
Date: Fri, May 3, 2013 at 10:54 AM
To: Matthew.Lee [at] innercitypress.com

Regarding your tweet about whether UNIFIL purchased defective demining equipment: We can inform you that the United Nations and UNIFIL did not procure the items under that particular requisition and the procurement was discontinued. The items were not purchased.

  But were bribes offered or paid? Watch this site.

Footnote: While we appreciate the response, how ever belated, to this morning's tweet, we wonder how the UN deals with the anonymous troll tweets of wire service reporters affiliated with the UN Correspondents Association.

  These have been brought to the attention of Reuters and of the UN Department of Public Information, which continues to partner with UNCA, even inviting UNCA president Pam "Queen of the Trolls" Falk to its panel on World Press Freedom Day.

  The UNCA / Reuters trolls posts make false allegations about funding that have, in past UNCA actions, triggered death threats. So is the UN so closely monitoring the tweets of its favored scribes? We'll see.

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