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World Bank board to decide Wolfowitz’s fate today

The World Bank executive board will meet with World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz on Tuesday to decide his future, the bank said in a statement on Monday.

„The executive directors have this afternoon received the second report of the ad hoc group...They will meet with Wolfowitz at 12:00 GMT on Tuesday as part of their deliberation on the report,” said the statement. The report, released by a special panel earlier Monday, concluded there was a conflict of interest in Wolfowitz’s involvement in granting a new job and pay package to his girlfriend.

„He should have withdrawn from any decision-making in the matter,” said the report, adding the informal advice provided by the World Bank ethics committee was not a model of clarity. The panel recommended the bank’s 24-member board to „consider whether Mr. Wolfowitz will be able to provide the leadership needed to ensure that the Bank continues to operate to the fullest extent possible in achieving its mandate.” However, Wolfowitz responded immediately on Monday that the report was unfair and unwarranted.

„It is highly unfair and unwarranted to now find that I engaged in a conflict of interest because I relied on the advice of the ethics committee as best I understood it,” he said. The American media said he is scheduled to make an appearance before the board late Tuesday. Wolfowitz has been under fire for his involvement in a pay raise and promotion for his girlfriend Shaha Riza, a bank employee. The bank president has admitted granting Shaha Riza the pay raise and promotion on advice from an ethics board at the bank. (english.people.com.cn)