UN Employee Files Pleadings Against Annan, Former Refugee Chief in US Supreme Court for Sexual Harassment, Retaliation, Racketeering

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An American woman and UN employee who alleges she was sexually assaulted by former Dutch Prime Minister and UNHCR Chief Ruud Lubbers in his office has asked the US Supreme Court to allow her suit against Lubbers, Kofi Annan, the United Nations and others to proceed, seeking substantial damages for her injuries.

A 53 year old American woman who alleges she was sexually assaulted by the former Dutch Prime Minister and UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Ruud Lubbers, in his offices, and then repeatedly retaliated against for reporting the assault, has filed proceedings against Lubbers, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, the United Nations and others, in the US Supreme Court (No. 22O136 ORG) demanding that the High Court hear her complaint which seeks at least $25 million for the injuries she suffered.

The woman, Cynthia Brzak, a 25-year veteran employee of UNHCR in Geneva, Switzerland has asked America's highest court to hear her complaint under a little used section of the US Constitution.

Article III of the US Constitution allows the Court the discretion to accept cases directly when the claims involve "ambassadors, foreign ministers and other consuls". As Annan and Lubbers as senior UN officials enjoyed all the privileges and immunities of diplomats (including immunity from civil or criminal suit in US courts), Brzak's attorneys have alleged that the defendants are the equivalent to ambassadors or other consul, and that therefore, the jurisdiction of America's highest appellate court is appropriate.

The suit, if allowed to proceed, seeks monetary and punitive damages, triple damages and attorney's fees, on account of the injuries Ms. Brzak claims she suffered as a result of retaliation for reporting sexual harassment protected by Title VII, indecent assault, intentional infliction of emotional distress, constructive termination, and civil racketeering (RICO) violations.

The pleading also seeks to invalidate the immunity of the UN and its senior officials from suit in US courts.

The Supreme Court is not expected to address the case until sometime after the opening of its next session on the first Monday in October. The entire pleadings may be viewed at http://www.iowatch.org.

The case is docketed with the US Supreme Court as: No. 22O136 ORG.

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Edward Patrick Flaherty
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