UN 'whistleblower' demands USD 1 million after dismissal

UN 'whistleblower' demands USD 1 million after dismissal

James Wasserstrom lost a top job at the UN mission in Kosovo, UNMIK, after cooperating with an internal corruption investigation.

His case is the most important yet to be handled by the UN Dispute Tribunal which was set up two years ago as part of reforms after the Iraq oil-for food scandal in the early 2000s.
Wasserstrom says the evidence he gave about kickbacks paid to UN officials in Kosovo in 2007 was reported to the officials concerned.

He says he was detained by UNMIK police, his home was searched and his office closed.
Wasserstrom was later dismissed but an internal inquiry said there was no evidence he had lost his job because of his "whistleblowing" activities.

Wasserstrom, who is now an anti-corruption specialist at the US embassy in Kabul, is demanding damages for the loss of his job and mental anguish over his treatment.

Judge Goolam Meeran of the UN tribunal on Wednesday heard testimony from Wasserstrom's lawyer, Mary Dorman and Susan John, who worked at the UN ethics office at the time of the case.

Wasserstrom said he hoped the new UN court system, set up two years ago, would give him and other staff more "open access" to justice.

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