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OAS Secretary General Resigns Amid Bribery Charges

Associated Press

WASHINGTON 08 Oct. 04 - The head of the Organization of American States has decided to resign just two weeks into his tenure after allegations that he participated in a bribery scandal involving a French telephone company, an OAS official said Friday.

The OAS permanent council convened a special session Friday to be informed officially of the resignation of Secretary-General Miguel Angel Rodriguez, which takes effect Oct. 15, the OAS official said.

The former Costa Rican president will be succeeded by the second-ranking official in the OAS, American Luigi Einaudi, a former State Department official.

The OAS official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Rodriguez made his decision after Costa Rica's attorney general said Rodriguez does not have immunity from prosecution on allegations that he accepted $140,000 in a deal involving the French telephone company Alcetel.

Rodriguez was sworn in Sept. 23 to a five-year term as chief of the world's oldest regional organization. Eleven hemisphere heads of state and government attended the ceremony at OAS headquarters in Washington.

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