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Cablegate: Peterson Case: French Moj Response to Cook County

VZCZCXYZ0013
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHFR #4678 3451023
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 111023Z DEC 07
FM AMEMBASSY PARIS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1419
INFO RHMCSUU/FBI WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEAWJA/DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE WASHDC PRIORITY

UNCLAS PARIS 004678

SIPDIS

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

L FOR KENNETH PROPP AND M. GUILANI; DOJ FOR KENNETH J.
HARRIS, P. REEDY, AND E. CRAIG

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: CJAN KCRM FR
SUBJECT: PETERSON CASE: FRENCH MOJ RESPONSE TO COOK COUNTY
ILLINOIS STATE'S ATTORNEY

REF: A. PARIS 4456
B. STATE 146715

1. (SBU) Embassy received a response from Jean-Marie Huet,
A/S-equivalent for Criminal Affairs at the Ministry of
Justice, on December 10, to the Office of the State's
Attorney for Cook County, Illinois's request (reftel B) that
the French government reconsider the nationality claim of
Hans Peterson, wanted in Illinois for the October 2006 murder
of Dr. David Cornbleet. The letter, dated November 22, was
transmitted to the Embassy by the MFA's Americas Bureau. As
expected, the GOF continues to deny Peterson's extradition to
the U.S., claiming that French law does not allow for the
extradition of its nationals beyond EU borders. The French
judiciary has initiated its own prosecution of the case, and
asks in the letter for U.S. assistance in completing the
investigation. An informal translation of the letter is
contained in paragraph two. A copy of the original text has
been to e-mailed to State's France desk and the Office of the
Legal Advisor. We understand the original was sent via
postal service to the Office of the State's Attorney for Cook
County, Illinois.

2. (SBU) Embassy's informal translation of the Huet letter:

Mr. Prosecutor,

Your letter dated September 24 was received with the greatest
attention.

The case which you discuss is particularly distressing and we
agree that it is highly likely that Mr. Hans Peterson came to
France in order to avoid the American justice system, and we
deplore this action.

Concerning the possibility of extradition, I assure you that
we have not spared any effort to find a solution which
responds to your perfectly legitimate request.

At the same time, as a result of French legislation as well
as the stipulations in the U.S./France bilateral extradition
Treaty, such a result is not foreseen.

In fact, as you know, Mr. Hans Peterson has possessed French
nationality since his birth and his presence on French
territory does not allow us any other choice but to declare
the impossibility of his extradition.

Nevertheless, I hope to underline here the agility with which
the French justice system has responded in placing Hans
Peterson into preliminary detention since August 8, 2007. An
official investigation has begun based on the following
charges: murder accompanied by, preceding, or following acts
of torture or barbarism.

I can also inform you that the prosecuting magistrate has
already prepared an international letter rogatory addressed
to your office, which you should receive in the briefest time
possible through the Department of Justice. In the framework
of international judicial cooperation we will ask for your
permission to authorize a French examining magistrate to
travel to Chicago to attend to the execution of this letter
rogatory under your care.

It is in all of our interests, and notably in the interest of
the family of the deceased, that Mr. Peterson be held
accountable for his acts before the justice system. This day
of reckoning, to which I attach the greatest importance, is
tied to the judicial cooperation between our two countries
which have always been frank and loyal and find in this case
a way to demonstrate the strength of that relationship.

I assure you, Mr. Prosecutor, of my most distinguished
consideration.

Signed,
Jean-Marie Huet
13, place Vendome
75042 Paris Cedex 01

End Text

Please visit Paris' Classified Website at:
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/eur/paris/index.c fm


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