Here is another real-life case of injustice, abuse of authority and mismanagement by the United Nations. This case ruined the life of a dedicated UN staff member and destroyed his career after 24 years of loyal services to the UN. This is the case (unedited) as told by the victim:
A. The administration decision for the summarily dismissal took place middle January 2008, immediately after that a counselor with a good UN experience was selected to assist, according to the staff rules I have the right to request a JDC to review the case, which was done via a counselor in February 2008, unfortunately, for unknown reason the JDC was only established middle January 2009 (twelve months later).
B. The administration’s submission to the JDC did not include the sensational claims by the PTF that created the problem in the first place. The remained case(s) against based on unsubstantiated allegations cannot support the decision to summarily dismiss. What is alleged would be misconduct however only when proven. Unfortunately, the PTF has failed to provide that evidence. The witness has so far failed to produce any corroborating evidence other than his own word. Equally puzzling is the fact that the investigators never attempted a “sting operation” to corroborate claims by this one witness. Clearly, without substation the allegation by this one witness, the case is so weak it cannot support the decision to summarily dismiss.
C. What is more important in the case is there was never any clear cut evidence for the solicitation and/or receiving a bribe. All the evidence that was used to accused me was based on what other people said about me, in addition that the litanies of allegations by the PTF spanning several years have been dropped by the Administration prior to the JDC hearing. Yet the very fact that the PTF’s own investigation has uncovered no new evidence against me creates the suspicion the allegations themselves have no basis in reality in the first place. Therefore, I believe that PTF targeted me (and my colleagues) on the basis of rumor and innuendo, rumors about […] procurement and senior staff that in most cases pre-dated some of these people coming to […]. This lead to a conclusion that the PTF were not investigating procurement abuses as they claimed, they were investigating a specific group of people me and my colleagues only. There is now no doubt that the PTF proceeded on the basis of unsubstantiated hearsays and as a result managed to get me and my colleagues summarily dismissed. OHRM in their referral of these cases to the JDC dropped several allegations that were based on hearsays and lead to the decision of summarily dismiss. That decision made these cases subject to the decision of the UN Tribunal in the […] case. This was a case where a staff member was dismissed on the basis of a number of allegations, some of which turned out to be not valid. The Tribunal said in that case the decision has to be rescinded since it was not possible under those circumstances to determine what weight had been placed on which allegation in the decision to dismiss. If the interpretation of that decision is correct. Previous UN Tribunal decisions are the law of the UN. The way I see this, the panel is being asked to break the law by deliberating on cases where half of the allegations used to dismiss have already been omitted by OHRM in their referral of the cases to the JDC once their validity was challenged. Unfortunately, that action by OHRM came after the decision to summarily dismissal was made, thereby bringing the cases within the ambit of that previous Tribunal decision. On the basis of the Tribunal decision in […], I and my other four (4) colleagues should have been found innocent by the JDC, but that did not happen. I believe that it was a clear political issue.
D. Tribunal noted that “at least one reason included in the Secretary-General’s decision is not valid. Therefore, the decision – to summarily dismiss in this case – should be rescinded in its entirety as we cannot assess what weight was given to this reason in the formulation of the Secretary-General’s final decision”.
E. I fully subscribe to the notion that wrongdoers should be made accountable, but it is the evidence in the record that should be the basis of any punishment imposed on the staff member, not prejudice and bias. In this case, the Administration was challenged to produce the relevant evidence against me and my colleagues and failed to do so.
F. Therefore with the assistance of the counsel my case was with the UNDT in July 2009 looking for justice and fairness on the basis of the evidence in the record, as endured over the past 25 months in line with previous practices of the UN in disciplinary cases of this nature. However, I am entitled to have my rights as any other UN staff member protected by the Secretary-General of the UN without regard to my country of original, under Staff Regulation 1.1(c).
The result of the UNDT Judgment and the latest status of my case (after 33 months)
Presently, after my hearing at the UNDT which took place on [..] January 2010, the new UN justice System under their final judgments report signed in April 2010, has officially declared me “NOT GUILTY”
The result of the tribunal judgment at long last is very welcome, and I now hope to get my life back. Bearing in mind that during this whole period I had used all my savings to support my family, as unfortunately, the UN didn’t only summarily dismiss me but affected my entire life as well, every time I attempted to get a job anywhere in Europe, potential employers, as normal procedures, would seek normally a recommendation from the UN (as my former employer) and the response from the UN was always negative, resulting in my inability to support my family and endure severe hardship.
The saddest, unforgivable and irreparable issue in this whole story is that my last younger (presently 14) who have tried and coexist the easy life in Africa during my present in […] have, these last three years, faced the most difficult and complicated time in his life, due to lack of funds and my poor financial situation he was obliged to be deprived of many thing child at his age will easy get it, to normally enjoy his childhood, he, in reality have lost three complete years from his life, thing which can not be recuperated nor compensated by anyone even the whole UN Organization, including its SG and Administration, The question is, who is responsible and why? Are these were taken into consideration when they have targeted me or only to achieve a promotion for others and/or put up a smoke screen? This sadly worked at last.
The most surprising in this whole issue is – of course according to unconfirmed rumors – which the UN Administration still rejecting the UNDT decision and orders even though these people knows on the basis of the evidence that I am innocent. Yet they deliberately refuse my justice, knowing the decision will be reversed on appeal because they do not want to be held accountable for the initial decision that has been shown to have been with a weak basis, they use deficiencies in the internal justice system to escape scrutiny. They know it will take another three years before these wrongly decided cases, appeals are taken up by the Tribunal, by which time some of the players have moved on, they also know that Tribunal cannot force the S-G to reinstate staff members who are wrongly dismissed. The Tribunal knowing its decisions to reinstate are rarely respected, gives the S-G the option to pay compensation in lieu of reinstating the wrongly dismissed staff member. So we are talking about the absence of the rule of law, lawlessness at the highest level in the Secretariat by people who should know better.
An Important question is to be asked: can the UN find the source of money to effected and cover my due payments/compensation and to the others as well as there is no budget for such requirement? That is compared to the way and number of staff that they were lately firing. Therefore, I am trying and fighting very heard based on the UNDT orders, not only for the granted justice but also to return to work with the United Nations in particular in field missions, and serve with any mission my services would be required, only to be able to recover the big financial loss I faced during the last three years and secure my life when retired. I am now 57 years old and will need to work to get a decent pension when at my retirement. However for obvious reasons I am very apprehensive regarding returning to work in procurement section and would be seeking employment in the logistics support area due to my many years of experience serving with field missions.
Based on the worldwide law regulation and rules:
Definition of Admissibility
I. The “admissibility” is the quality that must submit the application which takes a litigant to a court that the judge is regularly seized. If the application does not meet all the conditions laid down by law, the application is called “inadmissible”, i.e. that the judge will dismiss it without considering whether it can or it is well founded.
The important subject in my appeal is the three stipulated argument. No where in the above three mentioned legal arguments, the UN provided a new element that necessitates the review of the case or legally demonstrates the culpability of the Applicant (my self), unfortunately clearly shows the problem, disagreement and fight between the UNAT and the UNDT in the middle, I am the SCAPEGOAT.
In light of their three legal arguments, I think there are some questions that should be raised to both the Dispute Tribunal and the UN (SG, Administration and Office of the Legal Affairs).
To the Dispute Tribunal
1. What is the opinion of the Dispute Tribunal on the fact that their competence is contested by the UN? As here the UN is not contesting the territory competence of the […] Dispute Tribunal, they are attacking the attributes of the Dispute Tribunal on some questions, meaning material competence of the Tribunal, showing that the Dispute Tribunal itself ignores its attributes. If that it is the case, I think that it is time for the UN to determine clearly and in transparent manner the attributes of the Dispute Tribunal so that all parties could play the same game under the same Rules, play the game rightly and fairly.
2. In a such situation, the UNDT intends to quietly continue to issue its judgments while their competence is questioned by the UN? Why the Tribunal doesn’t react while we are fighting on their behalf?
To the UN (SG, Administration and Office of Legal Affairs)
1. If the UN know that the Dispute Tribunal doesn’t have the competence to deal with the mentioned questions, why they have directed us to the UNDT after the Joint Disciplinary Committee?
2. Why the UN Administration didn’t determine the specific questions that falls under the material competence of the Dispute Tribunal at the beginning or during the hearing procedure in order to clarify such an important disagreement and avoid waste of time for UNDT, UNAT and the applicants?
3. What can we expect from the UNAT, as both institutions (UNDT and UNAT) pulls their legitimacy from the same organ? What can we expect from the UNAT as long as the question of material competence of both UNAT and UNDT is not clarified with the UN? Why we should accept such Appeal without identifying the Tribunal which is competent to deal with the case?
II. The application is inadmissible, for example, if the applicant has no legal capacity required to bring the action, or if it does not justify a vested and present, or if the judge did not been introduced in the manner prescribed by law. It is equally inadmissible when the procedure has not been brought in time where the action was lawfully imprisoned.
The appeal should have been submitted ONLY during the authorized period (i.e. 45th days), the Attachment 1 is a strong proof that the real time of the creation of the appeal document was on Monday 24 May 2010 at 6.58 p.m. after the COB, it mean that the document could not have been signed and/or received by UNAT at that day, then the Attachment 2 shows that this document was entered/saved in Acrobat format on Tuesday 25 May 2010 at 11:04 after it has been signed, it seem it was also the time the document was forwarded to UNAT, that why my counsel was not copied, as normal and usual procedure, the reason why he received it, later, from UNAT secretary at 15:41:15, while the real closing day was Saturday 22 May 2010, however, based on the UNDT & UNAT Rules of Procedures A/RES/64/119 page 12, Article 34 Calculation of Time Limits they were allowed, as last chance to submit their appeal on Monday 24 May 2010, all these facts confirms that, unfortunately, illegally submitted after the authorized delay creating all this mess, fortunately to my favor.
III. To avoid unnecessary prolongation of proceedings, the plea of inadmissibility must be raised before any substantive claims. When the application is inadmissible, the judge, merely observe that they are not legally seized, is therefore without power to entertain the merits of the case.
That why I am insisting that as early as we can, my counsel should, on my behalf, file an official complain for the rescission/seizes of this appeal and advise the concerned responsible for soonest action otherwise, with my personal experience up to date, I am sure that these things is going to be endless.
In fairness, we will publish the views of the other side, the UN Administration, if the UN Administration wishes to respond to the above case.
M. Alaadin A. Morsy
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