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Former Oil-For-Food Head Resigns As Report Due

8 August 2005 (RFE/RL) -- The former head of the UN oil-for-food program with Iraq has resigned from the United Nations, hours before he is expected to be accused of getting kickbacks from the $67 billion operation.

Benon Sevan, the former executive director of the program, resigned late on 7 August from the $1-per-year post that he was given after his retirement with the objective that, with the job's immunity, he would cooperate with the investigation.

Sevan's resignation comes as a UN-established committee plans to release today its third interim report on allegations of corruption in the humanitarian program for Iraq, which began in 1996 and ended in 2003.

Sevan's attorney, Eric Lewis, said the Cypriot and veteran UM staff member will be accused of getting cash for steering Iraqi oil contracts to an Egyptian trader and of refusing to cooperate with the panel.

Sevan has denied the allegations.