World Bank board to continue Wolfowitz debate Wedneday

WASHINGTON, May 15, 2007 (AFP) – World Bank executive directors said late Tuesday they would continue deliberations about the fate of the embattled bank president, Paul Wolfowitz. In a terse, two-sentence statement, the board said it had met Tuesday to discuss a report by an investigatory bank panel that concluded Wolfowitz had broken rules in arranging a pay-and-promotion package for his companion, Shaha Riza, a fellow bank employee.

The directors also had met “to discuss the issues with Mr. Wolfowitz,” the World Bank statement said.

In its report released Monday, the investigatory panel said Wolfowitz had violated the terms of his contract, the bank’s code of professional conduct and three staff rules.

Behind closed doors, Wolfowitz Tuesday pleaded with the board to let him stay in his job, promising changes in his management style in the wake of a damaging scandal over favoritism, according to a hearing transcript released by his lawyer.

“I implore each of you to be fair in making your decision, because your decision will not only affect my life, it will affect how this institution is viewed in the United States and the world,” he said.