By Matthew Russell Lee, Photo
UNITED NATIONS, July 22 –In the ongoing UN bribery trial of Ng Lap Seng, on July 21 arguments began about "UN documents" that Ng's defense lawyers want to introduce into evidence. This followed the July 20 testimony of the one-time assistance of former President of the UN General Assembly Frances Fuller, of whom Inner City Press has asked the UN,here. Fuller traveled with Ashe to meet Ng in Macau - then reappeared as an assistant to Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who evicted Inner City Press as it investigated, and of a still present holdover Under Secretary General. Fuller in court claimed she couldn't remember the details of the Macau trip. Inner City Press questions why the government has not called or pursued Ashe's chief of staff, who did not keep up diplomatic immunity despite slick efforts. Specifically, why didn't the US Attorney's office call or pursue Paulette A. Bethel, who as Ashe's chief of staff knew infinitely more about the payments than did Frances Fuller? As Inner City Press exclusively reported, there was questions of Bethel's immunity as a (former) Bermuda diplomat. Did that hold the US Attorney back? Or was it an attempt to protect the UN itself, given that Bethel continued at a night level there? We'll have more on this. Ng's defense lawyers have been arguing among other things that Ng's payment of money and obtaining a General Assembly resolution with his company's name in it (and a photo with Ban Ki-moon at the UN Correspondents Association ball, we might add) is just the way things are done at the UN. On July 21 reference was made, on the documents, to the UN's "Mr. Gitner." Inner City Press has previously asked the UN about Gitner, with the Spokesman saying he'd never heard of him. From the UN transcript: Inner City Press: the UN produced approximately 61 documents to Mr. Ng's defence team. It is clear that there are additional requested materials that have not yet been produced, and Mr. Ng's defence team is in discussions with the UN counsel, Daniel Gitner, Esquire, to facilitate such production". So I know I've asked you before whether the UN would cooperate. You said, if ordered by the authorities. So I have a… I wanted to ask, one, have the authorities ordered the UN to produce? Number two, since you have produced, can you give some idea of what type of documents? I've asked you before about… he asked for a slew of documents including…
Spokesman: I'm not privy to the details or discussions between lawyers. As I said, we, as in just about any criminal case, we will cooperate with the authorities as required.
Inner City Press: Is Daniel Gitner an OLA [Office of Legal Affairs] lawyer or an outside counsel?
Spokesman: I have no clue… I have never heard of Daniel Gitner. Doesn't mean that person doesn't…
Inner City Press: Okay. Can you get something back…?
Spokesman: If I have anything more, I will share it with you.
This spokesman Stephane Dujarric never did come back with information. He, along with the UN Correspondents Association, evicted Inner City Press from the UN Press Briefing Room and the UN, where is it still restricted for pursuing this UN corruption case.