The former head of the UN Oil-for-Food program in Iraq has resigned from the United Nations, on the eve of a report which is likely to accuse him of corruption.
In his resignation letter, Benon Sevan criticized Secretary-General Kofi Annan for failing to defend the Oil-for-Food Program and then "sacrificing" Sevan for political expediency.
In a lengthy statement issued on Thursday by his lawyer Eric Lewis, Sevan expected to be accused of taking kickbacks under the 64-billion-dollar humanitarian operation by the Independent Inquiry Committee (IIC), led by the former US Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker.
In a February 3 interim report, the Volcker committee expressed suspicion about four payments, amounting to $160,000, that Sevan had declared to the United Nations as funds from his now-deceased aunt.
He noted in the resignation letter that it is not credible that after running a 64-billion-dollar program, he would have compromised his career for 160,000 dollars.
Sevan had retired from the United Nations but remained a UN staff member receiving only a symbolic salary of one dollar a year in order to help the investigation.
The humanitarian program for Iraq ran from 1996 to 2003.