Press Statement
Robert Wood
Acting Department Spokesman, Bureau of Public Affairs, Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
March 18, 2009

In June 2008, allegations surfaced in the media that U.S. Ambassador John Withers and five other members of the U.S. Embassy country team in Tirana, Albania were involved in efforts to cover up facts related to the sale of Chinese-origin munitions to the U.S. Department of Defense in contravention of U.S. law.

At that time the matter was submitted to our Inspector General for review. The Inspector General has reviewed all evidence made available and found nothing to substantiate criminal or any other allegations concerning Department of State employees. The Department of Justice has informed the Office of the Inspector General that these six Department of State employees at Embassy Tirana are not targets or subjects of investigation.

The Department welcomes the statements by the Department of Justice and the Inspector General and considers this matter closed. Ambassador Withers and his team performed exactly as we would have expected them to do. We are proud and grateful for their service.

PRN: 234