Peace Corps Office of the Inspector General -Semiannual Report to Congress

The Peace Corps Office of the Inspector General reports to Congress twice a year. Here is the link to the latest report from the OIG to Congress.  It is of interest because it describes the trial and outcome regarding the  murder of Kate Puzey.  The section dealing with that report is printed here. The OIG also is charged with various audits.  In this report, there is the evaluation of programs in China and Georgia.

Semiannual Report to Congress

October 1, 2016 to March 31, 2017

 Here is the section describing the investigation into the murder of Kate Puzey (page 24)

“The U.S. Government has been assisting the Government of Benin with the ongoing investigation into Ms. Puzey’s death since 2009. Peace Corps OIG’s initial involvement in the case focused on the circumstances surrounding the related disclosure of confidential information, including the role of agency staff and contractors. Subsequently, OIG special agents participated in an interagency team with law enforcement partners from the FBI and DSS to assist the Beninese authorities to resolve the murder. At the request of the Government of Benin, the team made numerous field visits to assist Beninese counterparts in the collection and documentation of evidence.

On February 25, 2017, a Beninese court of seven jury members (three Beninese judges and four Beninese civilians) concluded the criminal proceedings related to Ms. Puzey’s murder. Representatives of the Peace Corps and OIG attended the trial with Ms. Puzey’s family members. An OIG special agent testified extensively on investigative findings regarding a breach of Ms. Puzey’s confidentiality when she reported concerns about the conduct of a Peace Corps contractor to Peace Corps staff. This breach may have allowed the subject of her concern to discover her accusation and her identity as the complainant.

Ultimately, all four defendants were acquitted. Three of the defendants had been incarcerated for eight years pending trial, and one had been incarcerated for three years. Despite the extensive investigative fieldwork conducted in Benin and other resources devoted to this investigation by the Beninese Gendarmerie, the Peace Corps OIG, the FBI, and the Regional Security Office of the U.S. Embassy in Benin, the case remains unresolved.

OIG and our partners continue to seek justice for Ms. Puzey. Our investigation will remain open pending new evidence or information leading to a resolution of the case.”

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