Monday, August 10, 2009

UN's Alleged Biter Rejects Plea Deal, Demands Justice, Doss Dealing Detailed

UNITED NATIONS, August 10 -- In Criminal Court in lower Manhattan Monday morning, former UN Development Program contractor Nicola Baroncini, who states that his job was stolen by the UN's top envoy in the Congo Alan Doss for his daughter Rebecca, rejected an offer of reduced charges and anger management in the assault case against him. His next court date is October 28.

Two months before the June 22 incident inside UNDP's building in which Mr. Baroncini was pepper sprayed and then bit UN Security Officer Peter Kolonias, Alan Doss wrote an email about awarding Baroncini's post as assistant to the Deputy Director of UNDP's Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific to his daughter.

As first reported by Inner City Press, Doss asked to be shown "leeway" so that he could transfer from a UNDP to a UN Peacekeeping contract before or on the day she got to job, to evade anti-nepotism rules. Inner City Press first published the email on July 30, here.

On August 10 in the courthouse at 100 Centre Street, Baroncini told the Press that July 1 was the last day Rebecca Doss could be given a UNDP contract that would not have to be reviewed by a higher panel. He insists, however, that for Rebecca Doss to have been considered and offered the job while her father was still with UNDP violated the rules. For 16 days now, the UN and UNDP have repeated that the matter is under review.

Alan Doss in the Congo, pepper spray and NY courthouse not shown

The question arose Monday if immunity applies to Baroncini, or to the testimony that would be required later in the case from UN Security Officer Peter Kolonias. Some opined that Baroncini's immunity was lifted, by operation of law or by UNDP Administrator Helen Clark, who after more than 100 days in the post has yet to hold a press conference.

Others named Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, himself sensitive to questions about nepotism following the promotion of his son in law Siddarth Chatterjee at the UN in Iraq and this year at the UN Office of Project Services in Copenhagen. Inquiries among the press corp have begun into the related hirings of Mr. Ban's daughter. It is all coming to a head. Watch this site.

Footnotes: the proceedings Monday morning in Room 405 of the courthouse at 100 Centre Street involved, one after the other, a defendant in a Miami Heat "Wade" jersey, handcuffed behind his back; another defendant, female, with a baby strapped in front; a defendant named Mamadou Bah with a seemingly disinterested assigned counsel; the removal of a camera from the Press, and admonitions to those in the courtroom not to wear caps, eat, drink or talk.

One wondered how documented nepotism by the UN's top Congo envoy could devolve into retaliation against a whistleblower down this level. Don't call me the biter, Baroncini asked. I don't want my child (now two years old) to have that impression in twenty years. Okay then. We will continue reporting this story, with an array of related puns: the whistleblower's mordant critique of the UN's toothless protections against retaliation, the gnawing problem in the UN of nepotism, leading to an open and shut case.

Received on Saturday:

From: [Alan Doss]
To: Inner City Press
Sent: 8/8/2009 2:32:11 P.M. Eastern Standard Time
Subj: Re: Hi, Press(ing) Q re Alan Doss [and Rebecca Doss, UNDP]

Dear Mr. Lee,

In reference to your email, I can only say that UNDP is currently reviewing the matter. It would be premature therefore for me to make any public comments at this stage. I can confirm, however, that I transferred to DPKO on 1 July 2009.

Alan Doss

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