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Ex-Annan Adviser in French Police Custody

The highest-ranking U.N. figure yet to be caught up in the Oil-for-Food (search) scandal is now in police custody in Paris.

Jean-Bernard Merimee (search) is a former French ambassador to the United Nations who later served as a personal representative of Secretary-General Kofi Annan (search) and carried the rank of "undersecretary-general." He was on the U.N. Security Council back when the Oil-for-Food program was on the drawing board in the 1990s.

Click in the video box to the right for a complete report by FOX News' Eric Shawn.

Merimee was taken in by French police on Tuesday and is scheduled to appear before a judge in Paris on Wednesday as part of that country's investigation into the Oil-for-Food program.

Click here for the FOX News story about the Merimee investigation.

Merimee's name first surfaced on the Al-Mada list, an Iraqi newspaper's publication of a list of political and business figures who allegedly were allocated millions of dollars of oil vouchers for supporting Saddam Hussein's efforts in the Security Council to end sanctions against the former Iraqi regime.

Investigators are looking into whether Merimee was paid off at the same time he served as undersecretary-general advising Annan on European issues.

The United Nations (search) insists Merimee stopped serving in that post in 2002 but until this week a U.N. Web site listed him as a "special and personal representative and envoy of the secretary-general."

Merimee is not the only high-level official whose name has been connected to Oil-for-Food.

British Parliament member George Galloway (search), a critic of President Bush, has denied he was bribed as part of the program, even though congressional investigators say Saddam's officials and a trove of paperwork proves it.

So far, the U.N. scandals have produced two guilty pleas in America — one from a top U.N. official in the procurement department. There also has been a slew of criminal charges from prosecutors probing the billions of dollars of contracts the United Nations has handed out through Oil-for-Food and other programs.