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Cablegate: Lebanon: Brammertz Predictably Tight-Lipped In

VZCZCXRO7932
RR RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHBZ RUEHDA RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLA
RUEHLN RUEHLZ RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUCNDT #1141/01 3441405
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 101405Z DEC 07
FM USMISSION USUN NEW YORK
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 3291
INFO RUEHGG/UN SECURITY COUNCIL COLLECTIVE
RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 USUN NEW YORK 001141

SIPDIS

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PTER UNSC SY LE
SUBJECT: LEBANON: BRAMMERTZ PREDICTABLY TIGHT-LIPPED IN
UNSC MEETING

REF: USUN 1116

1. (SBU) Summary. During a December 5 open briefing to the
UNSC and closed consultations with member states that
followed, departing UN International Independent
Investigation Commission (UNIIIC) head Serge Brammertz hewed
closely to his written report to the Council and declined to
provide more information about the state of his
investigation. Amb Khalilzad praised Brammertz and the
progress the Commission had achieved thus far. He urged
UNIIIC to complete its investigation as soon as possible and
the UN Secretariat to set up the Special Tribunal for Lebanon
quickly. Turning to the Lebanese presidential elections, Amb
Khalilzad also called for free and fair elections to be held
"without conditions, without delay, and without foreign
interference." European delegations generally supported the
call for the rapid establishment of the Tribunal. Russia
argued that UNIIIC should continue its work until its
investigation is over and that the Commission and Tribunal
should not exist simultaneously. Other delegations praised
positive Syrian cooperation with UNIIIC. After the
consultations, the Council President read out an oral press
statement on UNIIIC and the tribunal (below). End Summary.

Brammertz Declines to Provide More Detail
-----------------------------------------

2. (SBU) During his public briefing to the UNSC, Brammertz
revealed few details about the state of his investigation,
and largely repeated the technical points in his written
report to the Council. Asked whether he could provide more
information in closed consultations, Brammertz declined to do
so, describing a "duty of confidentiality" towards both
potential suspects and witnesses. He added that if the
Commission were to disclose names of suspects, the witnesses
who identified them or the suspects themselves might
disappear. Brammertz identified the major challenge in
making the transition between UNIIIC and the tribunal as
ensuring the retention of staff. He reported that UNIIIC has
begun working with the UN Secretariat on ways to clarify
future job prospects to entice Commission staff to remain
with the organization in the run-up to the operationalization
of the tribunal. In response to questions about whether
UNIIIC has been distracted from the Hariri probe by its work
on the other 18 cases, Brammertz repeated his view that the
other investigations have helped to shed light on the Hariri
assassination itself.

U.S. Pushes for Tribunal and Elections Now
------------------------------------------

3. (SBU) Amb Khalilzad commended Brammertz for his leadership
of UNIIIC, congratulated Bellemare on his appointment, and
welcomed the progress the Commission has achieved in its
investigation thus far. He urged the Commission to complete
its work as soon as possible and encouraged the UN
Secretariat to ensure the Tribunal becomes operational

SIPDIS
quickly. Recalling the initial U.S. contribution of USD 5
million to fund the Tribunal, Amb Khalilzad called on other
countries to do their part as well. Turning to the Lebanese
presidential elections, he deplored the fact that Lebanon's
parliament had not been allowed to meet in conformity with
the country's constitution. Amb Khalilzad called for
elections to take place "without conditions, without delay,
and without foreign interference." Decyring the fact that
several Lebanese MPs and the Prime Minister himself had been
forced to seek refuge in their offices and hotels for fear of
assassination, he underscored the need for the rapid
establishment of the Tribunal as a means to end impunity in
Lebanon and uphold Lebanese democracy.

Others Commend Syria and Call for Tribunal Setup
--------------------------------------------- ---

4. (SBU) European delegations joined Amb Khalilzad in
pressing for the rapid establishment of the Tribunal. The UK
and France noted that while the Council could not determine
the future of the Commission yet, they hoped the SYG would be
able to declare the tribunal operational soon. Russia argued
UNIIIC should continue its work until its investigation is
over, and transfer its work to the tribunal only when
appropriate, but underscored that UNIIIC and the tribunal
should not exist in parallel. South Africa asked whether the
Council needed so many reports from UNIIIC, whether it had
been distracted by its work on the other 18 cases, and warned
against politicization of its investigation. Several
delegations, including Russia, Slovakia, Indonesia, South
Africa, and Italy welcomed positive Syrian cooperation with
the Tribunal. Italy, praising Syria's participation in the

USUN NEW Y 00001141 002 OF 002


Annapolis conference, expressed hope that the SARG's
cooperation with the tribunal was another example of its
willingness to play a constructive role in the region.

Council Adopts Oral Press Statement
-----------------------------------

5. (U) After the consultations, the Council President (Italy)
read out the following oral press statement on behalf of
Council members:

The members of the Security Council received today the last
briefing from Mr. Serge Brammertz in his capacity of
Commissioner of the United Nations International Independent
Investigation Commission into the assassination of former
Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri.

They commended Mr. Serge Brammertz for his outstanding work
as the head of the Commission and thanked him for his
leadership in advancing the investigation and for his
commitment to assisting the Lebanese Government and people in
bringing an end to impunity in their country.

The members of the Security Council welcomed the
Secretary-General's decision to appoint Mr. Daniel Bellemare

SIPDIS
as the next Commissioner as well as the Prosecutor of the
Special Tribunal for Lebanon, while taking note that he will
commence his official duties as Prosecutor at a later date.

They reiterated their support for the work of the Commission,
in particular to prepare the transition to the Office of the
Prosecutor of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon.

The members of the Security Council recalled their support
for the Secretary-General's efforts for the rapid
establishment of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, according
to resolution 1757 (2007).

They reiterated their support for the Secretary-General's
call on Member States to contribute financing, in accordance
with the provisions of resolution 1757 (2007), to the
establishment and activities of the Special Tribunal.
Khalilzad

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