Documents released in the past two weeks show that Wolfowitz had a direct role in securing a state department job that pays Riza $193,590 a year - more than the salary paid to Condoleeza Rice, the US secretary of state..
Riza remains on the World Bank's payroll even though she left the state department post last year and now works for Foundation for the Future, an international organisation that receives some funding from the department.
"Wolfowitz must resign because ... his act of favouritism for personal interest was wrong"
Ibby, Mumbai, India
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Bennett said on Monday that he wanted "to be sure that he [Wolfowitz] receives appropriate treatment and fair treatment".
"I've reviewed all the material, all the relevant material, and it is absolutely clear to me that he acted in total good faith in this,'' he added.
Bennett said his client would fight to retain his job although the bank's staff association, former bank executives, some US Democrats and aid groups want him to resign.
"Mr Wolfowitz is not going to resign. He did not hire me to help him work out a separation agreement. He wants to do the job that he signed on for," Bennett said.
The special panel is to make recommendations to the 24-member World Bank board but it is unclear what action, if any, the board will take because it has been divided on the matter.
|Bennett says his client acted |
in good faith [AP]
Bennett said he hopes he will have an opportunity "to make a presentation to them to prove beyond question that acted in absolute good faith and in the best interests of the bank".
He declined to say who is paying Wolfowitz's legal fees.
Bennett is a seasoned trial lawyer who has handled high-profile clients such as Bill Clinton, the former US president; two former defence secretaries, Clark Clifford and Caspar Weinberger; and more recently Judith Miller, a former New York Times reporter involved in a CIA leak investigation.