Jerome Starkey and Tristan McConnell
A public relations company led by the former foreign minister Mark Malloch-Brown was involved in a state-sponsored “cover-up”, to hide massive corruption in the Somali President’s office, according to a leaked investigation by the United Nations.
The report, seen by The Times, accused FTI Consulting of working with President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud to cover-up, rebut and discredit allegations of “corruption and mismanagement of Central Bank Funds”.
The allegations had threatened to derail international support for President Mohamud and his embattled, aid-dependent government.
The former university professor, who worked for the Department for International Development as a consultant, was widely seen a white knight of Somali politics, before he was mired in financial scandals last year.
The latest findings are likely to embarrass David Cameron, who had pinned his hopes on President Mohamud to lead Somalia’s recovery.
According to the leaked report, which was sent to the Security Council earlier this month, President Mohamud conspired with a US law firm, Schulman Rogers, “to divert the recovery of overseas assets,” through a web of secret contracts which blurred the lines between the his office and the Central Bank, and created opportunities for “pie-cutting” and misappropriation of public money.
FTI Consulting was hired as part of a $1million “counter-investigation,” in the wake of a report by the United Nations Somalia and Eritrea Monitoring Group, which claimed millions of dollars had gone missing from Mogadishu port, and the Central Bank. (Read more…)