Oxfam suspects 'threatened' witnesses

Oxfam suspects 'threatened' witnesses

The report concluded: "The only substantiated allegations against the CD were of the use of prostitutes in his OGB residence".

The 10-page report alleges that Roland Van Hauwermeiren, director of operations in Haiti, admitted using sex workers in his charity-funded accommodation and was granted a "phased and dignified exit". "This resulted in three of the suspects", it said, "physically threatening and intimidating one of the witnesses who had been referred to in the report", resulting in additional charges against them.

Oxfam said that during its investigation, Mr. Van Hauwermeiren admitted to hiring prostitutes, but he denied this in a statement he released last week, saying that he had an affair with a Haitian woman whose family received aid from the group, but that no money had changed hands.

Howver it redacted the names of three men who were dismissed for using prostitutes and two who left because they bullied Oxfam staff.

Oxfam has unveiled an action plan to tackle sexual harassment and abuse, and agreed not to bid for any more state funds until reforms were in place.

Two high-profile Oxfam ambassadors have resigned in the wake of the scandal, including actress Minnie Driver and Nobel Prize victor Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

His dismissal could lead to "potentially serious implications for the programme, affiliate relationships and the rest of the investigation", it said.


"We are making this exceptional publication because we want to be as transparent as possible about the decisions we made during this particular investigation and in recognition of the breach of trust that has been caused", the charity said in a statement.

The report ended: "None of the inititial allegations concerning fraud, nepotism, or use of under-age prostitutes was substantiated during the investigation, although it can not be ruled out that any of the prostitutes were under age".

And the document further pointed out that suspicions that some of the sex workers were under-age "cannot be ruled out".

Van Hauwermeiren said in a letter published by Belgian media last week that he had not visited any brothels, nightclubs or bars in Haiti. "But I never gave into these advances", he wrote.

Oxfam will present the original, unedited report to the government in Haiti on Monday and apologise for "mistakes", the BBC reported.

The report from 2011 was released on Sunday night (18 February) and describes how the charity interviewed 40 witnesses.

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