NEW YORK – Another relative of U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan (search) turns out to have ties to a company with U.N. business.
Kobina Annan, nephew of the U.N. chief, worked in the internship program at public-relations firm Ruder Finn until four months ago.
The company represents corporations, foreign governments and U.N. agencies, and also does pro bono work on behalf of the world body. The company's founder, 83-year-old David Finn, is a friend of Kofi Annan and a big U.N. backer.
The story was first reported by The New York Sun.
Ruder Finn denies there was any conflict of interest when Kobina Annan worked there, or that it landed U.N. contracts because of the connection.
"We disagree strongly with the characterization and innuendos that Ruder Finn's pro bono work on behalf of the U.N. was a way to general business," reads a statement to FOX News from Emmanuel Tchividjian, senior vice president at Ruder Finn. "Nothing could be further from the truth."
Tchividjian wrote: "Kobina Annan was interested in public relations ... Ruder Finn was not awarded any U.N. contract because of Kobina's employment."
Read the Rudder Finn statement by clicking here.
The secretary general's spokesman says Kofi Annan has asked his newly appointed cabinet chief, Mark Malloch Brown (search), to look into a range of management issues, one of which is pro bono work. The United Nations' legal department is working on defining a clear policy on the issue.
Malloch Brown, as head of the U.N. Development Program (UNDP), paid Ruder Finn $30,000 to assess how the agency could improve its communications office. UNDP says that familiarity with Ruder Finn and the company's good reputation were the reasons it got the job.
Congressional and other investigators are probing what, if any, influence Annan's son, Kojo, had in getting Oil-for-Food contracts for Cotecna, the company he worked for just before the program got under way in 1997.
Cotecna was in charge of overseeing humanitarian contracts in Iraq under the program, and has been accused of not fulfilling its commitments in that capacity.
On another note, Kobina Annan has a book coming out about genocide in the Darfur (search) region of Sudan. The publisher is Ruder Finn Press.
FOX News' Eric Shawn and Jonathan Wachtel contributed to this report. Click in the video box above for more.