Inner City Press

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

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

Share |   

Follow on TWITTER
 More: InnerCityPro

MRL on Patreon

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

After UN PGA Espinosa CoS Defers To Censorship of Guterres Inner City Press Replies

By Matthew Russell Lee, Video I II III RS HK

UNITED NATIONS GATE, February 12 – Today's UN and its partners including some on diplomacy are well versed in hypocrisy - but sometimes things go so far they must be noted and replied to, in this case to this year's President of the UN General Assembly several of whose predecessors as PGA have been shown to have have been bribed by CEFC China Energy, proclaims hers is a "UN4ALL." But after UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres amid Inner City Press questions about his links to CEFC China Energy had Inner City Press roughed up by UN Security and banned from any entry of the UN, Espinosa's belated 11 February response was to say... it's all up to Guterres.  Her chief of staff, about whom Inner City Press reported on his search for another UN job as he left UNFPA before Inner City Press was roughed up and banned - and therefore had and has a conflict of interest -- issued this response on past 4 pm on February 11: "From: Kwabena Osei-Danquah Date: Mon, Feb 11, 2019 at 4:44 PM Subject: Re: Formal request to PGA regarding restoration of full access to cover the GA To: innercitypress  Cc: Monica Grayley , Nadia Kalb , Raquel Martins   Dear Mr. Lee... The President of the General Assembly is not in a position to review or grant media accreditation. All media access at UN Headquarters is governed by an agreement between the Department of Global Communications, Department of Safety and Security (DSS), the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General (OSSG) and the United Nations Correspondents Association (UNCA).     The President of the General Assembly is committed to openness to and accessibility of media and will work with all stakeholders, consistent with her authority, to bring the United Nations closer to the people and to make the United Nations relevant for all.      Yours Sincerely,        Kwabena Osei-Danquah  Chef de Cabinet to the President of the 73rd Session of the General Assembly."

Now before 8 am on February 12 Inner City Press has sent this reply and reiterated request: "Dear President of the UN General Assembly Espinosa Garcés and chief of staff:     I write in reply to your February 11 e-mail stating that "[t]he President of the General Assembly is not in a position to review or grant media accreditation."  Forty days ago I informed you that the Secretariat has barred me from any enter of the UN since 3 July 2018 - this has been not only as a journalist reporting on the UN, which I have done since 2005, but even as a member of the public, seeking to attend events of and related to the General Assembly you preside over.    For your information, when I have arrived at the Visitors' Entrance, even with a ticket in my name to attend a GA event, I have been told that I am on a "permanent barred list," which is not public, which I was placed on without any hearing or due process, and from which there is no appeal. This is UNacceptable.     Your 11 February response also states that "[t]he President of the General Assembly is committed to openness to and accessibility of media and will work with all stakeholders, consistent with her authority, to bring the United Nations closer to the people and to make the United Nations relevant for all."    This is inconsistent with your apparent decision, forty days after my written request, to do nothing about the Secretariat's banning of me from any openness or accessibility - and with "UN4ALL."  So I ask again, now that you have formally had this information for 41 days - in fact, I raised it to you at the UN Delegates Entrance Gate even before you assumed your position - what are you going to do about it? I also must point out that based on whistleblowers within UNFPA Inner City Press and I published a report concerning Kwabena Osei-Danquah, who authored / signed your Office's 11 February response.  In this light, I am asking for a response from you, the PGA.  Please confirm your personal receipt of this reply and state what you will do, consistent with you statements on press freedom and, separately, on 'UN4ALL.'    Thank you for your prompt attention."  We'll have more, much more, on this. On 5 December 2018 after an eight day trial Inner City Press covered, also here, a jury in lower Manhattan rendered seven guilty verdicts in the UN bribery case of US v Ho, in which a still UN accredited NGO known as CEFC used the UN to offer weapons to Chad's Idriss Deby for oil and a stake in the Chad - Cameroon pipeline - and for paying $500,000 to a foundation suggested by Ugandan foreign minister Sam Kutesa's wife Edith Gasan Kutesa. While Guterres refuses Inner City Press' questions about why it is not a conflict of interest to refuse to audit CEFC when in 2018 it tried to buy Partex Oil & Gas from the Gulbenkian Foundation of which Guterres has been a paid board member, in Uganda President Museveni - for whom Kutesa sought a $500,000 campaign contribution - said his Attorney General would check where the money went. Even that is more than Guterres' UN is doing. Now Kutesa is proclaiming that his not being present for a UN meeting of other former PGAs - including Peter Thomson who also met with CEFC's Ye Jianming and Vuk Jeremic who worked for Ye - does NOT mean that he is under a travel ban or would be arrested in the United States. What does it say about the UN that three live former PGAs have these questions over them, with a fourth having died while on trial for taking bribes from the same Ye Jianming? Would current PGA Espinosa have invited John Ashe if he were still alive? In jail? We don't know - her spokesperson Monica Grayley has not responded to two e-mails from Inner City Press. Instead on February 4 she said that "not all former PGAs were invited," repeatedly, about Kutesa, adding that an ex PGA from "the Middle East" was going to come but couldn't. In the typical ghoulish hypocrisy of Guterres' - and Espinosa's? - UN, the faux question was from James Bays of Al Jazeera which/who worked with Stephane Dujarric to get roughed up and banned Inner City Press which actually covered the CEFC bribery trial. Here now is Espinosa's press release: "A group of former Presidents of the General Assembly (PGA) are meeting today for an interactive dialogue at the invitation of the current PGA, María Fernanda Espinosa. The theme for the meeting is “Revitalisation of the United Nations in favour of a strengthened multilateral rules-based system”.  This is the first event of this kind. President Espinosa said; “At a time of growing populism, xenophobia and unilateralism, I am delighted that so many former Presidents of the General Assembly have come together to make the case for a revitalised United Nations and for the measures needed to strengthen multilateralism at a time when it is coming under great pressure”.  The previous leaders of the General Assembly taking part in the event are: Their Excellencies Miroslav Lajčák,72nd session; Peter Thomson, 71st session; Mogens Lykketoft, 70th session; Vuk Jeremić, 67th session; Joseph Deiss, 65th session; Jan Eliasson, 60th session H.E. Sheikha Haya Rashed Al Khalifa, 61st session. This informal meeting will take place at 3 p.m. at Conference Room Number 4 at the UN Secretariat in New York. This event will be broadcast live.     At 6 pm. the former PGAs and the current President of the General Assembly will talk to UN Correspondents on “Strengthening Multilateralism at the UN” in a session moderated by the president of UNCA, Ms. Valeria Robecco and to which members of the UN Correspondents Association have been invited.     Media Contacts:  Office of the President of the UN General Assembly  Mark Seddon, Monica Grayley." Apparently to "UN4ALL" Espinosa, any journalist who is not a member of UNCA a/k/a the UN Censorship Alliance must be kept away from these events. We'll have more on this. On January 30 Grayley promoted, and Espinosa attended, a supposely "UN4ALL" event for those who paid money. This is today's UN. We'll have more on this.  And now this: The head of High Court Civil Division, Justice Andrew Bashaija, has been appointed to hear the bribery case against Kutesa. As defendant, Kutesa has been given 15 days from the date of receipt of the summons to file his defense before the hearing date is fixed. A concerned citizen, Brian Atuheire, petitioned court seeking a declaration that Mr Kutesa is unfit to hold a public office following the bribery allegations against him in the US court. Of course, this can't be done with regard to UN officials, who have (and abuse) total impunity. We'll have more on this. Uganda's Attorney General, William Byaruhanga, who is listed as one of the respondents in this case, has since assured Parliament that he will come up with a preliminary report on Kutesa bribery claims in January 2019.The evidence flashed on the screen at trial, seen by Inner City Press, makes the quid pro quo clear: $500,000 to wherever Kutesa said in exchange for business opportunities in Uganda. Now an interim report is due by December 20: Uganda's Speaker of parliament Rebecca Kadaga has directed the Government through Attorney General William Byaruhanga to provide parliament with an interim report into the allegations that Kutesa took a bribe from Former Hong Kong Home Affairs minister Patrick Ho Chi-ping for China Energy Fund Committeee in order to help him secure business deals in Uganda before parliament closes out on 20th of this month.

This came after Lwemiyaga county MP Theodore Sekikubo raised the matter before parliament and asked the house to take a decision. In response the attorney general William Byaruhanga informed parliament how the president had asked him to investigate the matter and will share the findings with parliament in January next year. But the MP disagreed with the attorney general on this time frame, saying they needed the report very first.
Kadaga then ordered Byaruhanga to present an interim report before parliament breaks off for a Christmas recess. Meanwhile at the UN -- nothing
. This is a new low even for the UN of Antonio Guterres, who did not answer through his spokesmen the written request for comment from Inner City Press, banned from the UN for 161 days and counting by Guterres. Later on December 5 in front of an expensive catering hall near the UN, Cipriani 42nd Street, Secretary General Antonio Guterres lumbered out of a Mercedes and Inner City Press asked him, Any comment on the UN bribery guilty verdict? Guterres, whose spokesman Stephane Dujarric was standing in Cipriani's entrance, made a dismissive gesture with his hand and went in. Video here. Now on December 10 Dujarric has claimed "the UN was used and abused by a number of people." But Guterres has gone out of his way to not have listed WHO has used and abuse the UN. Presidents of the General Assembly Sam Kutesa and Vuk Jeremic? Why has Guterres refused to audit, and even left CEFC in the UN while barring Inner City Press? We'll have more on this. On December 6, on which Guterres spokesman did not answer a single one of the questions Inner City Press submitted in writing (despite three written promises by Guterres' USG Alison Smale that such questions would be answered), Dujarric was asked about Guterres' no comment, video here: "Question:  I saw the SG didn’t [answer] a question when asked about the Patrick Ho guilty charges last night.  Does he have a comment on that?

Spokesman:  Just to say that we have been cooperating with the Federal authorities here in New York from the beginning of this investigation."
That's not the point - Guterres still hasn't even started and audit of CEFC (Inner City Press asked him why in January 2018 before being roughed up by his Security and banned still), and why CEFC is still accredited in the UN. The only one out is Inner City Press which questions Guterres' performance and use of funds. On December 6, as it had on December 5, Inner City Press asked in writing: "December 6-5: Given yesterday's seven guilty verdicts in US v Ho for bribery under the FCPA with regard to former UN PGA Sam Kutesa and Chad President Deby who was reached out to right inside the UN, what is the SG's comment and what will be his action on Ho's China Energy Fund Committee and others it has “reached out” to in the UN? Yesterday Inner City Press published a text message in which UN-accredited NGO China Energy Fund Committee's Patrick Ho texted the offer he'd make to Chad's Deby: “$200 million up front plus some arms & renminbi discount loans.” This is the UN NGO that SG Guterres has refused to audit: offering arms. Again, another exhibit made part of the record shows the head of UN accredited NGO China Energy Fund Committee planning to help violate Iran sanctions. Inner City Press has published the CEFC email. What now is the SG's comment and action on a still UN accredited NGO not only offering weapons to Chad's Deby and others, but moving to violate Iran sanctions? Also, a wiretapped audio was played in which Patrick Ho of still accredited CEFC plotted with Sheri Yan who pleaded guilty about bribing PGA John Ashe (RIP). Given that there WAS an audit of some of the bribing of Ashe, why has SG Guterres done no audit of Patrick Ho, and payments to PGAs Jeremic and Kutesa? Also, it was described how PGA Kutesa went to Hong Kong and made CEFC's Ye Jianming a special consultant or adviser to the office of the UN PGA. Given what else has come out at the trial - offers of weapons by CEFC as well as bribery evidence - what did UN DSS observe on that trip and do afterward? What are the duties of UN DSS officers? Also an exhibit was shown of Patrick Ho's entries into the UN, showing that the UN keeps such information. This is a request for that information with regard not only to Ho but also Kutesa after he was PGA, Francis Lorenzo, Carlos Garcia and Cary Yan. On Nov 29 Cheikh Gadio admitted to filing false joint tax returns with this spouse, the UN's Resident Representative in Equatorial Guinea. Please immediately state whether she informed the UN of false tax returns, what rules apply to such legal violations, and her current status. Again, on Nov 28 there was more testimony about how UN accredited NGO China Energy Fund Committee offered Chad's Deby not only $2 million in cash in gift boxes, but also tanks and surveillance equipment. Beyond the other questions from Inner City Press about this UN scandal you have refused to answer, please explain what actions have been taken on the pitching of weapons and bribes inside the UN building, where Patrick Ho routinely met UN Secretariat officials, where Gadio made this pitch to Deby - at a “high level” meeting about CAR, no less and where UN Security witness much of this and apparently did nothing (but now bans Inner City Press from entering to report). Again, what is the duty of UN Secretary and Secretariat staff when they witness such wrongdoing?" And just before noon on December 7, Guterres' Deputy Spokesman Farhan Haq sent: "Regarding question December 6-5, we can say that the Organization takes note of the guilty verdict of Mr. Chi Ping Patrick Ho. The UN has cooperated extensively in this matter by making thousands of pages of documents available and providing access to its personnel." But of course this doesn't answer the real questions, now submitted: "December 7-4: Yesterday you were asked about SG Guterres refusing to answer Inner City Press' question about the US v. Ho verdict, you said only that the UN “cooperated.” Today you say UN “takes note.” But the question is, explain why SG Guterres who was asked (by Inner City Press) in January 2018 has STILL not even started an audit of a NGO still in the UN which not only paid cash bribes but also offered weapons for oil to a long time ruler. Please answer and explain this." Watch this site. On December 5, Guterres was a guest of honor - of the UN Correspondents Association. The UN bribery verdict questions must and will continue be asked, and should be answered. Watch this site. The tickets are expensive and the guest list is secret. Previously this group, formally the United Nations Correspondents Association, took money from now convicted UN briber Ng Lap Seng and then provide Ng a photo op with the Secretary General. Who will be paying this year?
In the UN bribery prosecution by the US against Patrick Ho of China Energy Fund Committee, both prosecution and defense did their summations on December 4. On December 5 at 2 pm the jurors quickly found Ho guilty on seven of the eight changes against him: all five under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and money laundering and conspiracy for the Uganda scheme with Sam Kutesa and Museveni but NOT for money laundering in Chad There the payment was $2 million in cash - it was never laundered.  The UN has yet to act: it has left CEFC accredited while banning the Press that reported on it, and on this (CEFC moving to violate Iran sanctions). On December 4 prosecutor Daniel Richenthal did a rebuttal on both the Chad and Uganda schemes. Richenthal tried to rehabilitate Cheikh Gadio, saying the money he took from an unnamed courier from a businessman was only $20,000 and that Gadio hadn't lied about it. He emphasized the emails as evidence and ended with a photo of Ho with Uganda's oil minister, looking at a map of sites. Ho paid to be there, Richenthal said. This is what bribery looks like. Judge Loretta Preska deliverd a nearly two hour jury charge, including the Uganda anti-corruption law that must mena little, if Kutesa hasn't been charged under it. Th jury will returned at 10 am on December 5, now a Federal holiday in honor of George H.W. Bush (who nominated Preska). Defense attorney Edward Kim urged them to request and review many exhibits, and it's to some of those that Inner City Press will not turn. Watch this site. 


Feedback: Editorial [at]

Past (and future?) UN Office: S-303, UN, NY 10017 USA
For now: Box 20047, Dag Hammarskjold Station NY NY 10017

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

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

 Copyright 2006-2019 Inner City Press, Inc. To request reprint or other permission, e-contact Editorial [at] for