who will be next World Bank President What will they do


Bank staff turn amateur detective. As I'd hoped, some Bank staff took time to play amateur detective at their desks and see if they could replicate the mail discussed in my post of yesterday. Below are their results. If dodgy documents have been produced before the board that will surely be a very serious blow to the defence. But, regardless of that the point raised by several people below is surely devastating. Since when do draft e-mails count as evidence? Is it OK to tell a court something that you meant to say, but failed to?

Amateur detective 1
I test-printed a draft email. When you print a draft email, only the subject line prints (or at least it did for me). Meaning, it should NOT arouse any suspicion that this lacks a to line, cc line or bcc line (try out your own printing of a draft email and compare). These did not print for me even when I filled in the "To" line with a name drawn at random.

Nearly everything about Robin Cleveland's email, to me, looks almost exactly like an actual draft email EXCEPT that (as was pointed out), it has a 7 digit phone number with that puzzling q in front; and that the icon did not print out. (You know that picture/icon thing that everyone in Lotus Notes has to personalize their own letter heads?). These do seem odd. Also: someone else, please print out a draft email and tell me if I'm imagining this: does the text size of the date in Robin's email seem a little large to you? Before you answer, make sure the PDF file is set to 100 percent on your screen, not 114 as it initially was on mine. I tried to print the relevant page but for some reason it wouldn't.

For me, the larger concern, though, is why a mere DRAFT email is presented as evidence in a matter so sensitive as this, and not the email that was actually SENT. I hope the Board asks to see the version of the email that was actually SENT."

Amateur detective 2
"Some comments on your post and the draft email:

The phone number doesn't appear at all in the header of a draft email. I'm not sure why it's there in the PDF, neither why your correspondent says it should be in its short form.
Neither does the word "***DRAFT***" appear in a draft email.
Neither does the word "EXC" - which represents the unit to which Ms. Cleveland belongs to.

The name of Robin Cleveland should appear as "Robin Cleveland/Person/World Bank", its default format in Lotus Notes, if not edited after being pasted in Word.
"To" and "cc" appear by default, even if the fields have not been completed. The field "bcc" also appears by default when printed directly from Lotus Notes.
It is impossible, in Lotus Notes, to add the phone number, unit and "***DRAFT***" where it is in the PDF. This means that the draft probably was first copied in Word.

The left margin in the header is normal. This tells me that it's probably been indeed copied from a draft first and then edited, not made up from scratch, except by someone very careful to copy the quirks of Lotus Notes, but then add impossible stuff like a phone number and a unit acronym.

To me, it's clear that the header of the draft has been edited to appear as it now does. I am unable to make the same claim for the content, but can say that it is a possibility.

The question remains of why the Board received a draft. The WBG archives all its emails for a very long time, even if the staff has deleted it as far as I know. If this one has been sent, it could be found even if both sender and recipient have erased their copy. But then again, is anybody pretending that this email has ever been sent?"

Summary of the evidence
"There are more such mails. Someone in the Bank kindly summarised what he/she sees as the state of the debate/the evidence. Here it is.

1. Someone thought it odd that there was no picture/icon to the left of Robin Cleveland's name and phone number. Most internal emails have some kind of logo, generally chosen from a stock range of options.
But then someone else pointed out that there is a way to set this logo to completely blank (or at least blank for when you print out emails, I'm not clear which), so that took care of that idea.

2. Someone thought it odd that there was no "To", "cc", or "bcc" line printed, either at the top of the page or at the bottom of the page. But then it was concluded that these apparently only print (at least for draft emails) if you have an automated signature set up. If you don't have that set up, then these things don't print EVEN IF YOU FILL IN THE LINES with people's names/email addresses. In the absence of an automated signature, only the subject line prints -- just as in RC's email.

3. Someone thought it odd that the subject line was too high up. But if you don't have the automated signature (thereby stripping the to, cc, and bcc lines from the print version) then that's exactly where the subject line belongs after it prints out.

4. Someone wondered if the font size looked right (thought maybe it looked a little large on the screen), but was unable to print that page for the purpose of direct comparison against a freshly generated draft email. Someone else checked and said the font looked right on their end.

5. Someone asked why there was no thing at the top saying "?Click This Button to File in IRIS ==>" ...
but someone else said they don't have that in their email either, so it's not just Robin Cleveland missing that thing.

BUT, this still leaves the following questions:

6. We were still puzzled why her phone number has 7 digits instead of 5. As was pointed out to worldbankpresident.org, 5 digits is more usual for internal phone numbers because that's how our internal phone system is set up.

7. We were puzzled why that letter q is at the start of the phone number.

8. And we wondered why Robin submitted a DRAFT version of her email instead of the version that she actually SENT.

I'm at a loss how to explain #6 and #7 But, personally, I think the more serious concern is #8.

The idea of a Word-generated forgery seems odd to me.
So many other details are EXACTLY right, including the font and the positioning of the subject line -- at least for people without an automated signature, not for those who do have that -- so why suddenly flub the phone number?"

More such comments are coming in thick and fast. I'll get them up when I can.

Alex Wilks ~ April 26, 2007

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