UN chief condemns 9/11 'cover-up' claims
UN chief Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday condemned as "inflammatory" and "preposterous" a UN human rights expert's claims that there had been a US cover-up over the September 11 attacks.
"I want to tell you clearly and directly. I condemn this sort of inflammatory rhetoric," the UN Secretary General said during a speech to the UN Human Rights Council.
"It is presposterous -- an affront to the memory of the more than 3,000 people who died in the attack."
Richard Falk, UN special rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian territories, wrote in his personal blog on January 11 that there are "awkward gaps and contradictions in the official explanations" given for the attacks when hijacked jets crashed into the World Trade Center towers in New York and the Pentagon in Washington.
He said there was "an apparent cover-up" by the US government over its knowledge of the attacks masterminded by Osama bin Laden.
Ban noted in his speech that special rapporteurs like Falk were appointed by the human-rights assembly and not by him. "The council decides whether they should continue in their jobs," he added.
Non-governmental organisation UN Watch, which has frequently been at odds with Falk over his sharp criticism of Israeli rights violations against the Palestinians, had complained about repeated doubts raised by Falk about September 11.
Last week, it urged Ban to fire the US-based academic and legal expert.
© 2011 AFP