7 February 2005
Transcript of Press Conference by Secretary-Generals Chef de Cabinet at United Nations Headquarters, 3 February 2005
Mr. Malloch Brown: Let me start with a statement of the Secretary-General that I am reading for him.
As chief administrative officer of the United Nations Organization, I am responsible and accountable to the Member States for its management. Last year, in order to fulfil that responsibility, I set up, with the full support of the Security Council, an independent inquiry into the administration and management of the oil-for-food programme, including allegations of fraud and corruption, so as to get a clear idea of what was wrong and what remedial actions are needed. I asked Mr. Paul Volcker, Justice Richard Goldstone and Professor Mark Pieth -- three men of extraordinary distinction in their respective fields of finance, law and criminology, men whose integrity and competence are beyond doubt -- to conduct that inquiry.
Today they have presented, to me and to the public, an interim report, which I have immediately passed on to the Security Council.
Mr. Volcker has said that the findings do not make for pleasant reading, and I agree. Indeed, they make especially uncomfortable reading for all of us who love this Organization and have done our best to serve it over the years -- for two reasons:
First, colleagues alongside whom we have worked face serious accusations. I made clear when I set up the inquiry that appropriate action, with full regard for due process, would be taken against individuals or entities found to have violated the rules or procedures of the United Nations. Accordingly, I have today initiated disciplinary proceedings against Joseph Stephanides, the person named in the report who is still on active duty, and against Benon Sevan, the former head of the Office of the Iraq Programme, against whom the report contains extremely troubling evidence of wrongdoing. Mr. Sevan has retired from active duties but has, until now, been kept on staff at a token salary to ensure his availability to the inquiry.
I made clear from the outset that no one found to have broken any laws would be shielded from prosecution. I stand by that pledge. Should any findings of the inquiry give rise to criminal charges, the United Nations will cooperate with national law enforcement authorities pursuing those charges, and in the interests of justice, I will waive the diplomatic immunity of the staff member concerned.
Secondly, while I am very glad to note the finding that United Nations budgeting, accounting, and administration were in general disciplined in maintaining the use of funds for programme purposes, I must also take note of the findings that the initial procurement process for companies to carry out banking and inspection services fell far short of the standards of fairness, objectivity and transparency required by the Charter and by United Nations rules, and that the management controls and systems set up for the programme were, in many cases, inadequate to the task.
Measures have already been taken to remedy some of these defects. Other steps will be announced soon.
Meanwhile, I wish to thank the members of the inquiry committee for this report, which I regard as a significant step forward, since it clearly demonstrates their determination to get to the bottom of all the allegations and to identify deficiencies in the mechanisms that we used to administer the programme. I note, in particular, their intention to publish a further interim report dealing with questions related to the procurement of a contractor that employed my son. I hope that report will come soon, and I await its findings with a clear conscience.
Finally, let me also thank the committee for judging the United Nations against the highest standard of ethical behaviour, and for their acknowledgement that few institutions have freely subjected themselves to the intensity of scrutiny entailed in the Committees work.
Question: Can you put this in some kind of perspective about what this means for the Organization in terms of its history and the greatness of this scandal? And something more on the disciplinary measures against the current employee? I suppose against Mr. Sevan there cant be, since hes no longer employed [inaudible]?
Mr. Malloch Brown: Well, let me just first say, on the disciplinary steps first, we are reviewing them in the light of the different status of the two colleagues. As you say, one is on active duty, and there are a series of steps that we can take against him. The other is a retiree, and the steps available for him are different and, obviously, more limited.
Certainly, I think, any steps that we take are going to be taken with an eye to do nothing to prejudice the continuing character of the Volcker investigations or of any other legal inquiries. But I think it is also very important to stress the other point that the Secretary-General made in the opening statement I read, which is that we are keeping very much open the possibility of criminal investigations following up on this panel. This panel is not itself a judicial process, but if, indeed, the continuing investigations provide the evidence that leads to the US or other national authorities making a criminal case against any staff member, we will cooperate with that and diplomatic immunity will be lifted.
On the second point, to give you a sense of the historic importance of this, obviously this is not the first time there has been disciplinary action against staff members. This Secretary-General has had to take action against staff members on many cases, many times during his watch. I think Mr. Volcker himself would want to reserve terms such as historic for the completion of his investigation, when we see not just the impact of these quite narrow issues -- vital but narrow issues -- hes looked at today, but when he puts it in the context of the overall management of the programme, because, as was raised in his press conference, we are dealing with critical and vital breakdowns in the management of the United Nations -- breakdowns by individual staff and broader management breakdowns.
But they are a subset of a much bigger story: the very many billions of dollars which funded the Iraqi regime during the Saddam years and which came from the oil trades, but which largely came from oil smuggling and which -- as a number of newspapers again reported this morning -- fall way outside of the scope of the United Nations. This is a very big story, of which the United Nations is one small, sad part.
Question: When Mr. Sevan went into the Security Council to lobby that they use escrow money for restructuring the oil infrastructure of Iraq, shouldnt flags have been raised then that this was something he shouldnt have been doing?
Mr. Malloch Brown: Lets see. I mean, I think that, as the Coalition made clear when it took over the oil industry in Iraq, it suffered from years of underinvestment. It was no longer earning the country or the oil-for-food accounts the potential income it had. So, I think there was always a reasonable case -- a policy-point debate about the correctness or not, about the case for investment in that industry. So, no, I dont think there was any reason why anybody should assume that the motives for arguing were anything than the public policy interests of Iraq and the UN.
Question: The management changes that you say will be put into effect -- I want to ask you a two-part question. First, is there any one central one that leaps out at you from this report, that you can say right now We will never do that again, we will now do this? Secondly, on a broader scale, reading this entire thing, isnt it really an indictment of United Nations culture as it was being conducted? Ambassadors having access to the Secretary-General -- albeit maybe not this Secretary-General; ambassadors doing favours for their own countries, eliminating other countries -- all kinds of political and country-wide favouritism. Is that an indictment of the culture, and is the culture something that you can change?
Mr. Malloch Brown: Let me start with the easy bit, the management reforms that leap out from this. I think that they fall directly into two kinds. The first is procurement. Obviously, the procurement system was overridden by political considerations. The rules existing at that time -- in 1996 -- were, it appears from the report, bypassed or improperly applied. The fact is, since then, starting in 1999, there have already been major procurement reforms, of which probably the most relevant here is a requirement, when anything but the lowest bidder is accepted, that there be a written record of why and who that decision should be attributed to. We will need to take a look again to make sure that the rules that we now have in place are sufficient to prevent any future abuse of the procurement system.
Secondly, on audit, the report argues that the audit function was hard-working but entirely inadequate, in the numbers of people working on this, to the size and complexity of the programme. Again, there is a reasonably good story to tell in that OIOS, during these years of no real growth in UN budgets, has been almost the only part of the United Nations Secretariat to enjoy budget increases.
Secondly, before this report came out, the General Assembly, through the Fifth Committee, had already -- in December -- called for a strengthening of the independence of the OIOS, for its reports to be available to General Assembly members. But again, it is quite clear in the light of this report that those changes are not enough and that well have to look again at what we can do to strengthen the external independence of audit, to strengthen the availability -- the assurance -- that it will have the resources it needs to do the tasks.
So, I think there are changes of that kind, where the situation prevailing in 1996, which, as you point out, came before this Secretary-General and all the reforms across the Organization that he has introduced. Nevertheless, we have got to take stock: were our reforms sufficient? And I suspect in both areas they will need further strengthening.
To the final point about the culture of political complicity, if you like, I think it is a real issue. And I hope one lesson from all of this will be that, on the Secretariat side, there needs to be greater transparency in the way decisions are made and accounted for. On the Member States side, there is a message in this report, too: back off and allow us to manage this Organization, and dont try, in the name of micromanagement, to actually introduce political trades into the way decisions are made.
Question: Two quick questions. First of all, to follow up on that last point: if you are a member of a decision maker in a large State -- say, the United States - and you have a choice whether to direct big programmes, such as oil-for-food or tsunami relief or whatever, to the UN, does that report instil any confidence that you should back off, or does the report actually argue that maybe the UN is not the right venue?
Secondly, does Benon Sevan still have immunity, and is this report enough to waive that immunity?
One last question: Samir Vincent has said in his testimony that there was one UN official in 1995-1996 who received -- who he understood to be on Iraqs payroll. Have you made any efforts to find this, or is this all Volcker questions? Because he didnt deal with it.
Mr. Malloch Brown: On the first question, would this give the US [sic] confidence? Yes, because on the issue of the management of the 2.2 account, we get a pretty clean bill of health in this report - that overall management was very good. The area where the criticism comes is in the awarding of the initial contracts in 1996. And the criticism is that the process was politicized, in part by Member governments. Several Member governments are mentioned in that regard, including the United States and the United Kingdom. So, you ask does the term back off apply to them, too? I suppose it does, because --
Question: Maybe the lesson is they should go to another environment where politicization is not such a huge --
Mr. Malloch Brown: No, I think the lesson is to look at the mote in their own eye, as well as that in ours, and to recognize that they contributed, in the views of the Volcker panel, to this process of politicization, and that, in terms of the UNs management, subsequently, of the resources, in this first interim report we get a pretty good clean bill of health. So, I think the omens for the tsunami operation based on this report are rather good.
Secondly, on the issue of immunity. Immunity for any staff will be repealed at the time that criminal proceedings are instigated, and that has not yet happened.
Your third question was Mr. Vincent. Mr. Volcker -- this is one of the remarkable things about this whole exercise -- Mr. Volcker has a team of 65 investigators, a more than $30 million budget and the brief to look under every stone to get to the bottom of all of these issues. So, we are, indeed, looking to him to chase down the facts behind the Samir Vincent case. As I think has already been in the press, he is in correspondence or communication with the Manhattan justice authorities on this very point.
Question: Is there any kind of timeline for this disciplinary process for the UN official named in Volckers report? Also, what can you tell us about Boutros Boutros-Ghalis involvement in the oil for food scandal?
Mr. Malloch Brown: On the first, the measures will be taken, implemented and, no doubt, shared with you by the beginning of next week -- early next week. There will be no lagging on this. It is just we have to see the steps available to us. We are not going to rush to a decision in time for a press conference. We want to take the right steps and to have properly consulted our legal and personnel colleagues on it.
In the case of Mr. Boutros-Ghali, I think he makes his own defence of the decisions he took and others took during his tenure in his response to the Volcker panel, and it is covered in the report.
Question: My question is on Mr. Boutros Boutros-Ghali. What is the relationship between Mr. Boutros-Ghali and Fred Nadler? And another thing: what is the nationality of Fakhry Abdel Nour, and what is the Lebanese-Syrian connection in this report?
Mr. Malloch Brown: Gosh. Im like you; Ive read the report today, and therefore, like you, I rely on the report. I think, in the first bit before the green binder, there is a description of the relationship between Mr. Sevan, Mr. Nadler and the third gentleman. I really cant improve on that. Like you, Im an avid reader of this document, but I dont know beyond that.
Question: Could you give us an idea of the range of disciplinary possibilities for someone whos soon to retire, an employee whos already resigned? He had a salary, but he was being paid a dollar a year. That might buy him immunity, right? And a former Secretary-General? What are the ranges?
And secondly, criminal charges might be brought against people who violated US law, but does the UN count as international territory in that case, or do you waive that kind of immunity as well?
Mr. Malloch Brown: What, do you think theyll hide out in the UN basement while the Feds stalk the building?
Question: Thats what the security fence was built for, right?
Mr. Malloch Brown: Look, as I was very open in saying to you -- and as, indeed, the Secretary-General acknowledged in the statement I read -- the number of internal sanctions against a retiree is limited. But, of course, the issue is whether there will be criminal charges against any of those named either in this report or in the subsequent report. And, therefore, if you like, the real sanction is the commitment by the Secretary-General that he will waive diplomatic immunity so that individuals face the full force of the law and the punishment of the courts.
In the case of a former Secretary-General, a Secretary-Generals immunity is granted by the Security Council. But I would just add that I think any fair reading of, at least, this first interim report is a critique of the politicization of decision-making in the institution, rather than focused on the individual of the Secretary-General himself.
On the issue of jurisdiction, our lawyers advise us that territorial jurisdiction is there -- in other words, where the crime was committed -- and I dont think that those are limited to the small, square block of Turtle Bay. If, indeed, for any individual, improper financial transfers, for example, were made, they went through national territory.
Question: How would you determine -- to borrow from that question -- which court of law would be applicable to Mr. Sevan or whoever else is implicated in this, and how would you determine which court of law would be able to try him? The United States, for instance, is what youre saying, or is there another court of law that you can look into?
Mr. Malloch Brown: Wherever a crime was committed, and international crimes can be committed in more than one location. So the fact is, there may be a debate about which jurisdiction, but I dont think there is going to be a shortage of jurisdictions where any individual -- and, again, I want to stress that Mr. Sevan has not been accused of any crimes in this report -- where he or any other individual later, as a result of further investigation, is to be accused of crimes. They took place somewhere. So, I think therell be no shortage of potential jurisdictions.
Question: So you dont know actually at this point in time which court of law will have a purview over him or whoever it is?
Mr. Malloch Brown: No.
Question: Following up on this question, lifting the diplomatic immunity of persons involved in this oil-for-food scandal, wouldnt that set a dangerous precedent for the United Nations in allowing US courts to now try United Nations staff members on the basis of alleged mismanagement, since, as you pointed out, this is not a judicial process?
And secondly, to your knowledge, has Mr. Volcker interviewed Mr. Benon Sevan?
Mr. Malloch Brown: On the first point, lets be extremely clear. What we owe staff members in a situation like this is due process: the opportunity of justice in front of a judge and jury, if they so choose; the opportunity to prove their innocence. And, in that sense, where a very significant panel of experts, which is not a judicial panel, but a very heavyweight investigative panel alleges crimes -- and again, let me stress, it has not yet done so -- but if it does do so, the very least staff members should want is the right to prove their innocence in a court of law.
In terms of the United Nations and whether this is a precedent, theres a much worse precedent than repealing diplomatic immunity, and that is to have the integrity of the Organization impugned and breached by protecting people who have committed criminal acts. Let me just mention to you that it is standard within our diplomatic immunity that the Secretary-General, in many cases, waives immunities for common crimes. Diplomatic immunity is a political protection against actions taken in the course of ones official duties; it is not intended to be a protection against criminal behaviour.
With regard to Mr. Sevan, he has, indeed, been interviewed by the Volcker panel.
Question: Shortly before this press conference began, Mr. Sevans lawyer issued a statement in which he vehemently denies the allegations and accuses this report of scapegoating him. I wonder how the Secretary-General and you weigh his response to the allegations laid out?
Im also wondering about a name I havent heard mentioned yet: Dileep Nair. The report says that he withheld an evaluation of the oil-for-food programme that was very critical -- it was [inaudible] the GA -- he withheld that shortly after this Commission was appointed. Whats going to happen to him?
Mr. Malloch Brown: On the first point, I have not seen the statement of the lawyer. But let me be clear that, while Benon Sevan is a very dear friend of many of ours -- Ive worked with him for years -- when you put together three international investigators, $34 million worth of investigation, 65 investigators, you dont then set yourselves up as a court of appeal over the results of that investigation versus those they are pursuing. If there is to be a further determination of the accuracy of the charges, it will no doubt be in a judicial process.
The Secretary-General is shocked by what the report has to say about Mr. Sevan. Hes terribly dismayed that a colleague of so many years standing is accused of breaching the United Nations code of conduct and staff rules in the ways he did. And he very much doubts that there can be any extenuating circumstances to explain the behaviour which appears proven in the report.
On the Dileep Nair point: are you saying that, in the report itself, there is this reference? Well, thats why were still going through the report with a toothed comb, because, to be honest, I had not yet had that finding brought to my attention, and we will have to revert to you on it.
Question: Are there grounds for firing him? Hes withholding reports that are critical of this entire --
Mr. Malloch Brown: I dont know. I want to read whats said; I havent seen the reference.
Question: Given that one of the Commission members has actually said privately that he believes the level of wrongdoing on the part of Mr. Sevan does rise to the threshold of criminal activity, I wonder if you would just define what you believe to be criminal proceedings, because, clearly, a criminal investigation would be helped immeasurably by the lifting of diplomatic immunity now. So, do you mean the USDOJ, for instance, announcing it is going to conduct a criminal investigation, or do you mean the bringing of a charge? That is when diplomatic immunity would be lifted.
Secondly, how concerned is the UN at Mr. Sevans statement? Clearly, he is very angry, and, given that he knows where all the bodies are buried, how much damage could he do if he turns against you?
Mr. Malloch Brown: On the first point, Im going to have to have our lawyers tell us what is the specific answer to your question. But let me be clear: there is no attempt here to hide behind any sort of defence or clever parsing of words.
When the investigations -- either of the Volcker inquiry or investigations of others -- have reached the point that have made the connections that are missing in the Volcker report as published today, the proof of criminal behaviour, rather than just of a dismaying conflict of interest -- criminal behaviour of a kind of either, as Mr. Volcker put it, of direct financial reward or return for actions taken. If something like that is proved, and it has not yet been proved -- I mean, if a member of the panel is saying this privately, I cant help you, because, as it is private, I havent heard it.
But the moment that there is a case file which satisfies prosecutors that there are criminal charges to answer, the UN will cooperate fully with that.
Question: You keep saying, Let us be clear. So you are saying, if Mr. Volcker says this publicly -- This amounts to criminal activity -- you will lift diplomatic immunity then, or you will wait for a judicial authority to say, We want to charge Mr. Sevan. Which is it? You keep saying, Let us be clear, but youre being anything but clear -- with all due respect.
Mr. Malloch Brown: With all due respect. Remember, I was the UN official who got due respect from the -- Again, it is a matter for discussions between Volcker, other, the prosecutors here and elsewhere, because everybody wants to not sort of fall over each other and do things which compromise each others investigation.
All I can tell you is that, when there is a case, and when prosecutors indicate that it would advance that case to waive diplomatic immunity, the Secretary-General will waive diplomatic immunity.
On the second point, of buried bodies, let us be clear. We want this investigation to discover all it needs to discover, and if, indeed, Mr. Sevan has evidence of his own that he will bring for either the Volcker panel or other investigations, or through the vehicle of Fox News to the public, all the better, because we want to look under every stone, too.
Question: What I am curious about is that there is something wrong with the whole picture. The UN is under attack from left and right, south and east, and everything. Over $30 million was allotted for this investigation. This is the biggest humanitarian campaign in the world -- $68 [?] billion -- and it comes down to one single person who facilitated Iraqi oils going to African and Middle Eastern petroleum, with revenues of a million and a half, and then his take, perhaps -- allegedly -- is $160,000. All this scandal is only for a $160,000 kickback. What do you make of it?
Mr. Malloch Brown: Well, I am almost tempted to ask the last questioner what he makes of it, because there is, indeed, a tremendous difference between $21 billion, the figures that have been talked about of missing oil revenues, and the allegations of perhaps $160,000 perhaps reaching the pockets of an official, to refer to the allegation you have in mind. There is a huge difference in scale, and I would refer you to page 41, I think it is, the last page of the kind of opening segment of the Volcker report, which has a chart on magnitudes, because I think this is an issue which we very much hope, when Mr. Volcker finishes his inquiry in mid-year, will be put in proper context.
All those politicians who choose to say that oil-for-food revenues have fuelled the insurgency in Iraq have it wrong. Oil smuggling was the major source of illegal revenue for the former Iraq regime -- oil smuggling outside the control of the UN but very much in the open sight of members of the Security Council. This is a much bigger story than the UN, and we wish, frankly, that all the actors to this story would show the same openness to investigation that we have shown.
Mr. Volcker made it clear today that the UN level of cooperation with his inquiry has been complete, period. Other governments -- many governments, as he has had to observe at different points, have not necessarily cooperated as fully, and there has certainly been much less willingness to take the same forensic magnifying glass to their own responsibilities for oil-for-food -- for the abuses in the Saddam years that they condoned or allowed, than the United Nations has taken to its own shortcomings.
Question: He said the smuggling was outside the control of the UN. Were the kickbacks that Saddam got as well outside the control of the United Nations?
Mr. Malloch Brown: Well, some were and some werent, I think is the point here; its well known and its not covered in this report. There were some 70 occasions that the United Nations brought concerns about the pricing of contracts to the attention of the 661 Committee, but the UNs role was very much about ensuring that the right kinds of goods were bought under oil-for-food. We were not a procurement agent controlling the pricing of contracts. Again, in terms of the basic goals of our programme -- feeding Iraqis, reducing the malnutrition of children, preventing the import of materials that could be used for the building of weapons of mass destruction -- the programme succeeded, so by our lights it was a success, and that is why we, again, are pleased to see Mr. Volckers confirmation of the good.
Question: Yet there were substantial amounts, billions of dollars, that were plundered because of the administration of the UN [inaudible] programme. Do you feel that litigation by the Iraqi Government against the United Nations to have a remedy for all this Iraqi money - we have elections, we have some sort of [inaudible], with a Government of [inaudible] in Iraq now, and they choose to take legal action, do you feel that or expect it, if it is proved that a lot of money was plundered?
Mr. Malloch Brown: Well, maybe it will in subsequent reports, but the report today should give the Iraqi Government tremendous confidence that, in fact, the programme resources were, indeed, used for their intended purposes of benefiting the people of Iraq. I cannot stress enough that, on the management of the programme and the use of the 2.2 account, we got a thumbs-up.
So, as the last questioner made it clear, we are talking about a financially small, but possible -- but in this report, not confirmed -- piece of corruption of a very limited financial amount compared to the very large losses that Iraq suffered from oil smuggling and price mark-ups, which were outside the control of the United Nations. There are many people to recover monies from, but at least in this report, the UN is not one of the principal ones.
Question: In the past, the United Nations has been quite reluctant to criticize Member States. But you have not been so reluctant this afternoon. You talked about how Member States should look at the mote in their own eye. You have talked about how Member States have politicized the procurement process and you have asked them to back off.
Have you made a strategic decision that its time that youre fed up with being scapegoated and that youre not going to take it anymore? And how far would that go if thats the case? Do you think its time to single out, say, somebody like Senator Norm Coleman, who asked the S-G to resign, and tell him to back off?
And another question is: I detected a slightly sarcastic reference to my colleague here in front. Do you think that some of the news media have politicized this? Do you think Fox News has been waging a political campaign against the United Nations?
Mr. Malloch Brown: No, let me be clear. You know, this report reflects that what Fox News and many others have said, which was that there were failings in this programme, is correct. Journalists should feel that the work thats been done to expose shortcomings in the programme is confirmed. But what this report says is: there were faults. But some of the very, highly exaggerated accounts of what went wrong are, indeed, inaccurate and way beyond what the facts will bear. So, I hope this very substantial 200 pages of Mr. Volcker will rein this story back to the facts and away from some of the wilder speculation that has often characterized it. But, no, I think this report shows that journalists investigations of the UN were very much warranted.
Second, I used back off in a very particular context, which is: what are the management lessons for this? The management lessons are a more transparent and accountable UN, but there are also ones where governments [need to] back off to give us, the managers, the space to run the Organization and be accountable for its management. It was not a general -- you know, it wasnt one of those tabloid headlines: Malloch Brown to US Government: Back Off. It was not that. Maybe now ... That will be a test of Jonathans new standards. It was back off in a particular context of the way management needs to work in a complex organization where accountability and transparency and integrity are such important principles.
And beyond that, you know, we would never call on a public official -- an elected US senator or other -- to resign. It absolutely isnt our business to start trading those charges. And, you know, we very much hope that this report will help Mr. Coleman with his investigations; were anxious to cooperate with him and the other investigations on the Hill, as the Secretary-General has made clear. But we, equally, hope that this report will give him and others pause for thought and make them now focus on whats proven, whats left to be proved -- and, again, to perhaps drop some areas of concern which this report has perhaps put to rest.
Question: In questions of people being knowledgeable, two people who know more than anything about this whole scandal is certainly, for instance, Marc Rich, who cashed in the vouchers, and Oscar Wyatt. Now, I dont know if Marc Rich is considered a Swiss citizen, but certainly the Swiss Government should help in this investigation. And, in the case of Oscar Wyatt, we do have all of these politicians in Washington that should be cooperating with the United Nations. Has that been done?
Mr. Malloch Brown: Well again, you need to ask Mr. Volcker, who, I think, on Mr. Rich was asked and said he had not interviewed him, as I think I heard him say. But these are issues for Mr. Volcker to address. But I do think its worth reminding you all of what Mr. Volcker said about his powers today, that, you know, people make a big thing about subpoena powers. The problem is, subpoena powers are a very, very useful tool in the single national jurisdiction for which they have force. But, when you have an international investigation of this kind -- a mandate from the Security Council - the commitment of governments to cooperate with the investigation and the full cooperation of the organization at the centre of so much of this, the UN, has given Volcker a width and reach of access which is unique. And I very much doubt that, you know, either of the individuals you mention would be beyond his reach if he sets his mind on interviewing them.
Mr. Eckhard: Thank you very much, ladies and gentlemen.
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