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Cablegate: Lebanon: Dutch Seek Immediate Decision On Building

VZCZCXRO9039
OO RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHBZ RUEHDA RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLA
RUEHLN RUEHLZ RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUCNDT #1150 3451513
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 111513Z DEC 07
FM USMISSION USUN NEW YORK
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3306
INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUEHGG/UN SECURITY COUNCIL COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE

UNCLAS USUN NEW YORK 001150

SIPDIS

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PTER UNSC SY LE
SUBJECT: LEBANON: DUTCH SEEK IMMEDIATE DECISION ON BUILDING

REF: A. USUN 1138
B. WILCOX/REINEMEYER EMAILS--12/10/07

1. (SBU) BEGIN SUMMARY AND ACTION REQUEST: At the third
meeting UN Legal Counsel Nicolas Michel hosted for major
donors and potential donors to the Special Tribunal for
Lebanon ("Tribunal") on December 10 (reftel), Dutch PermRep
Majoor asked representatives of Lebanon, France, UK, Germany,
and the United States to agree immediately to the terms under
which the Dutch government would provide a building for the
Tribunal. While they welcomed the Dutch proposal, Germany
and the UK said they did not have instructions to agree, and
Michel asked participants to advise him by noon on December
11 whether the UN can write the Dutch, on behalf of the
donors to the Tribunal, to accept the Dutch offer. USUN
seeks instructions to respond positively. END SUMMARY AND
ACTION REQUEST.

2. (SBU) Under what the Dutch call their "best offer," the
Dutch have offered the Tribunal use of a building that the
Dutch Intelligence and Security Service will vacate at the
end of the year (ref B). The Dutch would pay the full rent
for the building (3.4 million Euros per year) for a maximum
of six years, as well as the cost of external security for
the building. Implicit in acceptance of this donation would
be the Tribunal's agreement to pay the cost of preparing the
building for use for the trial. Dutch PermRep Majoor
explained that the Dutch need donors' immediate agreement to
their proposal so their Cabinet can bless it, as well as the
draft Headquarters Agreement, at a December 21 meeting.

3. (SBU) The UN has inspected the building twice and has
determined that it is in good condition and suitable in all
aspects, although it lacks a courtroom and holding cells (ref
B). Under the Dutch proposal, the Tribunal would have to pay
for any adjustments to the facilities, including the costs of
building a courtroom and holding cells, and would cost either
USD 10 million or USD 16.4 million. The Tribunal also would
cover all operating costs, which would cost USD 1 million per
year. The UN confirmed that the cost figures would be in
addition to the USD 35 million in set-up and other costs
projected for the first year of the Tribunal's operations.
The UN said the annual operating costs compare favorably with
the operational costs of the International Criminal Tribunal
for Yugoslavia (ICTY) and the International Criminal Court.
The building has 17,500 square meters of usable space, as
opposed to the ICTY, which has 19,883 square meters of usable
space. The ICTY pays 2.65 million Euros in rent for its
facility per year.

4. (SBU) The UN said donors do not have to make an
immediate decision between the two packages for upgrading the
facility, though they would need to do so soon. The minimum
proposal, which would include constructing the courtroom and
holding cells, increased security measures (one perimeter
fence and security for the holding cells), and limited other
modifications to the building (including installing
shatterproof film on some of the windows), would cost USD 10
million. Alternatively, the Tribunal could pay 16.4 million
for a package that would cover additional upgrades to raise
the standard of the building to that of a new building,
including replacing all lighting and fire safety equipment
and office improvements. Under either option, the estimated
costs would be non-recurrent capital costs to be met in the
Tribunal,s first year of operation.

5. (SBU) Assuming the donors agree on December 11 to
accept the Dutch offer, the UN advised that office space
would likely be available for occupancy in the second quarter
of 2008. Courtrooms and holding cells would be available for
use at the end of the third quarter of 2008. The building is
located in Leidschendam, 15 minutes by train from the center
of The Hague and 15-20 minutes by car from the UN Detention
Facility at Schevengingen and the Bronovo Hospital. The
building is approximately 15 years old.
Khalilzad

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