Inner City Press

These reports are usually available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis

In Other Media-eg New Statesman, AJE, FP, Georgia, NYT Azerbaijan, CSM Click here to contact us     .


Follow us on TWITTER

Home -

These reports are usually available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis


(FP Twitterati 100, 2013)

ICP on YouTube
Sept 24, 2013

UN: Sri Lanka


FOIA Finds  

Google, Asked at UN About Censorship, Moved to Censor the Questioner, Sources Say, Blaming UN - Update - Editorial

Support this work by buying this book

Click on cover for secure site orders

also includes "Toxic Credit in the Global Inner City"




Bank Beat

Freedom of Information

How to Contact Us

As ICP Exposes UN Visa Scam, DPI Downgrade, Dujarric Says "F*cking Stupid Q"

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive series

UNITED NATIONS, April 29 -- While many try to insulate today's UN from the open corruption of the recent past of President of the General Assembly John Ashe, there is continuity to this UN scandal.

  Inner City Press in October 2015 repeatedly raised that Ashe's chief of staff Paulette A. Bethel of the Bahamas was and is current PGA Mogens Lykketoft's “Special Adviser, Coordination and Engagement,” at the senior D2 level. The response on April 29 from the UN was... profanity.

   As UN officials including Cristina Gallach, whose involvement in the scandal is detailed in the UN's own Office of Internal Oversight Services audit at Paragraphs 37 to 40 and 20(b) have moved to evict Inner City Press  from the UN premises (video here) and restrict its access, Inner City Press on April 29 asked Ban Ki-moon's spokesman Stephane Dujarric, video here, UN transcript here:

Inner City Press: just for a simple statement… if the UN finds that a UN-paid staff member in the office of the PGA (President of the General Assembly) in fact erroneously or fraudulently had an A visa, a diplomat's visa for purposes of immunity, what does the UN do?

Spokesman Dujarric:  Matthew, I'm not going to go into hypotheticals.  We expect all UN staff members to abide by the rules, and if they don't, there are sanctions according to policy... 

Inner City Press: I end up asking you questions that you didn't ask from yesterday.  There were four or three that you said you’d get back.  This is the third.  The third has to do with is the position of the head of UNIC (United Nations Information Centre) in Brussels, a D1 or D2 position, to your knowledge?

Spokesman Dujarric:  To my knowledge, it's a D1 position.

Inner City Press:  Right.  So what would explain a person leaving a D2 position in New York for a D1 position in Brussels?

Spokesman:   Because… You know what?  I don't want to get into personal issues of people, but sometimes people make career decisions based on all sorts of different things.  I'm sure you do and I do.  Thank you.

  What the UN did not transcribe, and in fact cut from its audio, was Dujarric saying, "Matthew, that's a f*cking stupid question." But Vine here. We'll have more on this.

On April 28, Inner City Press asked Dujarric, video here, UN transcript here:

Inner City Press: This is related to the John Ashe case.  When people work in the PGA's office and they work for the UN, but they work for the PGA's office, are they supposed to have a G4 visa or an “A” diplomat visa?  There's a reason I'm asking this.  Some people are seconded, and supposedly, they can have then an A visa, which gives much greater immunity.  Some people are paid by the UN, and I wanted to get an answer from you whether G4…

Spokesman Dujarric:  If they are UN staff, then I would assume they're under G4 visas…

Inner City Press:  What happens if… what if somebody is a UN staff that, for some reason, for some erroneous reason, happened to have an A visa?  Would this give them immunity?

Spokesman:  I don't know.  I don't know.

  Dujarric did not come back with an answer, but should have. Inner City Press is exclusively informed that the UN allowed “visa games” in the case of John Ashe's chief of staff Paulette Bethel, who is now in the Cabinet of current PGA Mogens Lykketoft and is being lobbied to continue, with immunity, with the *next* PGA (more on that in a separate forthcoming exclusive story).

   Bethel had been an Ambassador with an “A” diplomatic visa, full diplomatic immunity. But while working for Ashe, Ban's UN paid her. Still she arranged to have an “A” visa -- significant given the corruption in which her Office was allegedly involved in.

   Now, the sources tell Inner City Press, there is a review of how Ban Ki-moon's UN has allowed for abuse of the visa (and immunity) system. On this, too, we will have more.

Back on March 11, Inner City Press reported and asked this:

  By having her position with Lykketoft, Paulette Bethel continues to have immunity. Ban Ki-moon has not waived it, despite the portrait painted of her the John Ashe indictment. She “knows where the bodies are buried,” as the phrase has it.

  And perhaps for that reason, Inner City Press is multiply informed that Bethel is lobbying for a continued immunity job with the NEXT President of the General Assembly, whether from Cyprus or Fiji.

  In fact, Inner City Press is informed, both candidates to succeed Lykketoft as PGA, Cyprus and Fiji, was lobbied to keep Bethel on -- as a D2, with full immunity -- if they win the job, and were promised (the same) votes if they do.

Now, Inner City Press is informed of new (March 11) developments regarding Paulette Bethel's immunity status.

  For now, what does this mean? Well -- did Lykketoft make the same corrupt deal? Why WOULD Lykketoft, claiming to be so different from John Ashe, keep Ashe's chief of staff on his team? Even Banned from the UN second floor where Lykketoft's office -- used to campaign for Helle Thorning-Schmidt, as Inner City Press exclusively covered -- we'll have more on this. Here.

On March 11, Inner City Press asked UN Spokesman Stephane Dujarric -- who among other things has refused to answer on lending UN Press Briefing Room, in which indictee Frank Lorenzo appeared without being listed in the Media Alert -- about this.
 Video here UN transcript here:

Inner City Press: I want to return to the indictment of John Ashe, I'd asked you before, but I have more to ask about it, that the previous Chief of Staff of John Ashe, Paulette Bethel, is currently the number three official in Mogens Lykketoft's office.  And as Chief of Staff, she's listed throughout the indictment and charge sheet in the John Ashe case. I've also become aware that there's requests being made to potential new PGAs (Presidents of the General Assembly), Cyprus and Fiji, to continue her in the employment as a D-2 UN official. If a person is a UN staff member but works for the PGA's office, one, what is the status of their immunity from prosecution and testifying?  And, two, who can waive that immunity?  Is it the Secretary-General, as with other UN staff, or is there some special status for a UN staff member who works for the PGA's office?

Spokesman Dujarric:  Look, speaking not in relation to the particular case that you mentioned, because her employment and the employment of anybody in the PGA's office is up to the PGA itself, the Secretary-General has the authority to lift the immunity of any UN staff member.

Inner City Press:  Does it seem strange to you that someone listed so prominently in the indictment remains on the UN payroll? Can you describe the immunity that that obtains?  If, for example, the US Attorney's Office wanted to speak to a Chief of Staff who went to Macau, who was involved in all of these actions…

Spokesman:  I'm not going to speak to… I can't speculate…

Inner City Press:  D-2, D-2 generally.

Spokesman:  I can't speculate to the case.  I don't… I'm not privy to anything that the US Attorney may or may not be doing.  What is clear is that anyone, as far as I know, under the rank of Assistant Secretary-General, which would include D-2s, such as myself, carries functional immunity.  As a matter of principle, immunity is not there to block any criminal investigation.  Maggie?

Voice of America:  Steph, anything on Mr. de Mistura's smaller conversations

Yes, smaller conversations... There is a history, here.

 After being thrown out of the UN on two hours notice by Under Secretary General for DPI Cristina Gallach on February 19, on March 10 back in on a "non resident correspondent" "Green P" pass, Inner City Press was ordered out of the UN at 8 pm, here, as it worked on this story -- here's an Inner City Press story on Bethel and Ban Ki-moon's connection to the scandal -- in the UN Lobby.

 UNder this kind of harassment, intimidation and attempted censorship, there is only one approach: publish, publish, publish. If Bethel didn't have the immunity that comes with a UN D-2 post, what might she testify to? Who could waive her immunity?

  The new Free UN Coalition for Access -- whose sign USG Cristina "The Censor" Gallach directed to be torn down after she evicted Inner City Press from its long-time office -- seeks to open the UN and these processes - watch this site.


Share |

* * *

These reports are usually also available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis.

Click here for Sept 26, 2011 New Yorker on Inner City Press at UN

Click for re Libya, Sri Lanka, UN Corruption

Feedback: Editorial [at]

UN Office: S-303, UN, NY 10017 USA

Reporter's mobile (and weekends): 718-716-3540

  Search  Search WWW (censored?)

Other, earlier Inner City Press are listed here, and some are available in the ProQuest service, and now on Lexis-Nexis.

            Copyright 2006-2016 Inner City Press, Inc. To request reprint or other permission, e-contact Editorial [at]