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Congress retaining UN Oil-for-Food documents for own investigations

[JURIST] Robert Parton, a former investigator for the Independent Inquiry Committee [official website] into the now defunct UN Oil-for-Food program [official website; JURIST news archive], has reached a deal with the United Nations and the US Congress under which Congress will retain thousands of pages of UN documents for review in its own examination of the humanitarian program. Parton resigned from the independent committee earlier this year, accusing the committee of covering up evidence [JURIST report] thought to be critical of UN Secretary General Kofi Annan [official profile; JURIST news archive]. After his resignation, three Congressional committees filed subpoenas for Parton and the 16,000 pages of documents he took with him. The deal between the UN, Congress, and Parton announced Thursday requires Parton to give interviews to all three Congressional committees in exchange for Congress returning the materials to the UN when its inquiries are completed and the UN dropping charges against Parton that he violated a confidentiality agreement [JURIST report]. Earlier this month, the UN-backed IIC released its final report [text; JURIST report], concluding that several parties shared responsibility for the Oil-for-Food program's mismanagement - including the UN Secretariat, the UN Security Council, UN agencies, national governments and private companies and individuals. The US investigations will focus on the substantive allegations surrounding the program and the UN's ability to investigate itself, according to a spokesman for the House International Relations Committee [official website]. AP has more.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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