India foreign minister removed after oil-for-food allegations

[JURIST] Indian Foreign Minister Natwar Singh [official profile] was removed from his position Monday at his own request after allegations arose that he improperly benefited from the now-defunct UN oil-for-food program [JURIST news archive] in Iraq. According to the government, Singh will remain in the Indian cabinet while Premier Manmohan Singh assumes his position pending a newly-formed judicial commission [AFP report] investigation. According to the report [text] issued last month by the UN's Independent Inquiry Committee [official website], Singh, as well as India's Congress party, was part of an international scheme in which political leaders were given vouchers for Iraqi oil which could then be sold on the open market. The UN report alleges that Singh profited from the scheme in 2001 when he was not in office. Singh has said that the charges have no basis. BBC has more.

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