World Bank gives Wolfowitz more time

WASHINGTON, May 9, 2007 (AFP) – The board of the World Bank has given an additional week to embattled bank president Paul Wolfowitz to defend himself in a nepotism scandal, the bank said in a statement Wednesday. “The Executive Directors met today to consider a request from the President for additional time to comment on the draft report of the ad hoc group, which was provided to him on May 6,” the statement said.

“They have informed the President that they agree with the recommendation of the group to extend the period for his final comments on the group’s draft report to the close of business on May 11. After considering the President’s comments, the group will complete its report,” it added.

Wolfowitz was informed he will be able to meet with the board May 15 “to communicate his views in person, if he wishes to do so. They will then consider all the information available and reach their decisions,” the statement said.

Wolfowitz, 63, is battling strong calls from inside and outside the bank for his resignation after the revelation last month that he personally engineered a massive pay hike and guaranteed promotion for his companion, Shaha Riza, a World Bank employee, after he took the bank’s top jo