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Cablegate: Un/Sierra Leone Special Court: Financial

VZCZCXRO5096
OO RUEHBZ RUEHMA RUEHPA
DE RUCNDT #0044/01 0171503
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 171503Z JAN 08
FM USMISSION USUN NEW YORK
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3554
INFO RUEHZK/ECOWAS COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHGG/UN SECURITY COUNCIL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHOT/AMEMBASSY OTTAWA PRIORITY 0982
RUEHTC/AMEMBASSY THE HAGUE PRIORITY 8975

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 USUN NEW YORK 000044

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL UNSC KJUS KDEM PGOV SL XA
SUBJECT: UN/SIERRA LEONE SPECIAL COURT: FINANCIAL
UNCERTAINTY AND ONGOING BICKERING AMONG COURT PRINCIPALS
CONTINUE TO PLAGUE SPECIAL COURT


1. SUMMARY: USUN and other members of the Sierra Leone
Special Court Management Committee met January 15 to discuss
ongoing challenges facing the Court, including uncertainties
over the source of adequate voluntary contributions to
sustain Court activity throughout 2008 and continued tensions
between Court President King, on the one hand, and Court
Registrar von Hebel and Court Deputy Registrar Mansarray on
the other. As of December 31, 2007, the Special Court had
sufficient funds in the bank (i.e., $10.4 million) to sustain
Court activity in Freetown and The Hague for an additional
approximately three months, through mid-April. Germany's
pledge of 1.5 million Euros and an EC promise of 2-2.5
million Euros if the Special Court should be faced with a
financial crisis could, once funds were received, prolong the
Court's life to June-July (Note: Ongoing Court expenses
continue to average approximately $2.7 million per month.
End note). Management Committee members also discussed the
continued discord between Court President King and the
Registry, resolving for the moment to seek from the Court
principals a clear plan as to how they intend to resolve
outstanding differences and expedite completion of the
Court's work. In addition, Committee members received an
update on the status of each trial and appeal now underway
and reviewed plans for the Committee's upcoming February
13-22 trip to Freetown and The Hague. END SUMMARY.

UNCERTAINTY OVER COURT
FUNDING PERSISTS
----------------------

2. At the insistence of USUN, the Committee focused on the
financial situation of the Special Court based on December
31, 2007 figures provided by Anthony Triola, the Court's New
York representative (copy e-mailed to IO, AF, S/WCI, L,
Embassy Freetown on 1/14). Triola reported that the Special
Court had $10.4 million in the bank, including funds provided
by the U.S. ($13 million), the Netherlands ($2.4 million),
Norway ($720,000), Switzerland ($960,000), Chile ($10,000)
and Luxembourg (20,000 Euros). Additionally, Germany had
pledged 1.5 million Euros, but it was unclear when such funds
might arrive. Separately, the European Commission has set
aside 2 to 2.5 million Euros that it will provide to the
Special Court if the Court is facing a financial crisis.
(Note: It remains unclear how dire the Court's financial
circumstances must be to prompt transfer of the EC funds.
End note). Triola estimated that the Court had on hand
sufficient funds to continue its operations through
mid-April. If both the contribution pledged by Germany and
the emergency funding from the EC were provided, the Special
Court could continue its work through late June-early July.
At USUN's urging, Committee members agreed to meet again
January 24 to resume consideration of the Court's finances
and to discuss strategies for securing additional
contributions.

COURT PRESIDENT NOT
SPEAKING WITH REGISTRAR,
DEPUTY REGISTRAR
-----------------------

3. Also at USUN's request, Committee members discussed the
continued discord between Court President George Galaga King
and key members of the Court Registry, in particular Court
Registrar Hermann von Hebel and Court Deputy Registrar Binta
Mansarray. Court rep Triola indicated that the three Court
principals currently were not speaking with one another,
preferring instead to conduct Court business through e-mails
and other written correspondence. USUN said such a situation
needed to be addressed and resolved immediately; otherwise,
there was a clear risk that the Special Court would implode.
The absence of an acceptable working relationship among the
three Court principals was an issue that was not going away.
USUN stressed that it was imperative that the Management
Committee act promptly to identify a solution. A follow-up
conference call involving Committee members and the Court
President, Registrar and Deputy Registrar might be the best
solution.

4. UK representative Simon Thomas agreed that the Special
Court could not be effectively managed as long as the Court
President and Court Registry officials were not on speaking
terms. The Management Committee previously requested that
the Court principals report to the Committee on their plans
to resolve their differences and focus on the Court's work.
It was time that such a plan be conveyed to the Committee.
However, Thomas noted that it might take the visit of the
Committee to Freetown in mid-February to force a resolution
of this ongoing conflict. Management Committee Chair Hugh

USUN NEW Y 00000044 002 OF 002


Adsett (Canada) observed that the Committee could not make
the three Court principals like one another, but the
Committee could again make clear that it expected them to
devise a workable solution so as not to detract further from
the Court's ongoing work. Adsett agreed that the Committee
should again seek clarity from the three Court officials as
to their plans to move forward.

MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE
TRIP TO FREETOWN AND
THE HAGUE
--------------------

5. Committee members next focused on their upcoming February
13-24 trip to Freetown and The Hague, deciding that it would
be helpful to set aside one day in New York prior to the trip
as was done before the Committee's trip to Freetown in March
2007 to review issues to be discussed with Court officials.
All agreed that such a discussion should occur after
Committee members received the Court's updated Completion
Strategy and Budget, which Registrar von Hebel had indicated
would be available on/about January 31. Adsett suggested
that for the proposed day-long discussions in New York, the
Committee focus principally on the budget, the revised
completion strategy, and residual issues, since the Special
Court's conference on Residual Issues is planned for February
20-21 in Freetown.

UPDATE ON STATUS
OF TRIALS/APPEALS
-----------------

6. Special Court representative Triola provided the
following information concerning the status of trials and
appeals:

-- AFRC appeal: judgment expected end of February
-- CDF appeal: judgment expected end of May
-- RUF trial: defense still calling witnesses (103 still
left to testify) - presentation
of evidence should conclude in mid to late June
-- Taylor trial: no definitive estimate as to how long the
trial will take.

USUN requested that the Special Court provide Management
Committee members with such updates, in writing, on the first
and fifteenth of each month, in addition to similar updates
on the financial situation of the Court.

NEXT MEETINGS
-------------

7. The Special Court Management Committee will reconvene
January 24 to resume discussions on Court finances and
fundraising strategies. USUN has just learned that Court
Prosecutor Stephen Rapp (American) will be in New York on
January 22 and has requested a meeting with the Committee.

KHALILZAD

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