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NRI, Nishan Kohli pleaded guilty to bribing a former senior Indian UN diplomat

New York, Dec. 22, 2006
Ram Parsad

Nishan Kohli, 30, of Miami, Florida pleaded guilty in a bribery to a former senior Indian UN diplomat, Sanjay Bahel for with cash and a luxury Manhattan apartment to rent and later buy an apartment for his family at reduced prices in order to get major deals in his favour from United Nations.

Prosecutors said that contracts Kohli secured for his companies included $36 million to provide radio communications systems to U.N. missions in East Timor, the Congo and elsewhere; $8 million to provide information technology support to U.N. missions worldwide; and $5 million to provide laptop computers.

Now trial date has been fixed May 07 for Sanjay Bahel, 55, to face charges that he accepted bribes from Kohli to steer more than $50 million in contracts to companies Kohli controlled. He has been suspended from his U.N. job in charge of the postal office there without pay since August, 2006. He was on deputation to the UN from the Indian Defence Auditing Services. He got contracts worth $100 million during his posting as chief of commodity procurement for the world body between 1998 and 2003 for TCIL (Telecommunications Consultations of India Ltd)

Richard B. Herman, Bahel's attorney said that his client never used his influence to favour Kohli's business. He denied that Bahel received any cash payments. Bahel had already left the UN procurement division when he began renting an apartment from Kohli in 2003, said Richard

Kohli remains free on $1 million bail and faces a maximum of 10 years in prison but he could earn leniency by fully cooperating with prosecutors.Sanjaya Bahel is free on $900,000 bail.

Kohli admitted that he made cash payments and real estate deals with Bahel after 2000 to benefit himself and the companies he represented. Kohli said Bahel provided him with a special cell phone so he could communicate secretly with Bahel, who was the chief of the U.N.'s Commodity Procurement Section from 1998 to 2003.

Jacob Laufer, Kohli's attorney said that Kohli signed an agreement with federal authorities to cooperate in their ongoing investigation into corruption at the UN



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