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Cablegate: Argentina: Draft Mission Response to Opposition

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RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHBU #0127/01 0351420
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 041420Z FEB 08
FM AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0164
RHMFIUU/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHINGTON DC
RHMCSUU/FBI WASHINGTON DC
INFO RHEHNSC/NSC WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS BUENOS AIRES 000127

SIPDIS

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV CJAN KJUS KPAO AR
SUBJECT: ARGENTINA: DRAFT MISSION RESPONSE TO OPPOSITION
POLITICIAN'S CLAIM OF U.S.-ARGENTINE NEGOTIATIONS ON MIAMI CASE

REF: BUENOS AIRES 0124 AND PREVIOUS

1. (U) Action Request -- para 5.

2. (SBU) Argentine opposition leader Elisa Carrio, who was the
runner-up in the October 28 presidential election with 24% of the
vote, publicly released a letter to the Ambassador on January 31
voicing concern about "rumors" that, in order to improve bilateral
relations, the Embassy had negotiated with the GOA "to moderate,
hide and compartmentalize evidence related to the prosecution under
way in Miami."

3. (SBU) Shortly after the announcement of the December 11 arrests
in Miami of four defendants alleged to be agents of the BRV, Carrio
had welcomed the U.S. investigation, publicly lauding the
impartiality and independence of the U.S. judicial system. She
asserted then that the U.S. investigation would unearth the source
and destination of the $800,000 intercepted in August by the GOA.
Her January 31 letter and public statements indicate she reversed
course after deciding the U.S.-Argentine rapprochement did not
accord with her political needs. The text of her letter follows in
para 4, and the Ambassador's draft reply (for Washington clearance)
follows in para 5.

4. (SBU) Embassy informal translation of the January 31, 2008,
letter to the Ambassador signed by Elisa Carrio and other leaders of
the opposition "Civic Coalition:"

Dear Ambassador E. Anthony Wayne:

The Civic Coalition, leading opposition force in the Argentine
Republic, has closely monitored the case involving Alejandro Guido
Antonini-Wilson who illegally brought a suitcase with US $800,000
into Argentina and who is under investigation by our justice system
for money laundering. This case also prompted the justice system of
the district of Miami, U.S., to institute proceedings based on the
collaboration of Alejandro Antonini-Wilson against five citizens,
four of them from Venezuela and one from Uruguayan origin, alleged
to be agents operating in the United States. These people were
accused of operating as foreign operatives with the objective, as
district attorney Tomas Mulvihill pointed out (case 07-3113-M-DUBE,
official transcript) of "subverting Argentine justice with false
evidence to hide the true origin and destination of the money,"
referring to the use of such money, "as being meant for the
presidential campaign of the eventual winner of the Argentine
election, Cristina de Kirchner."

From the very first day the Civic Coalition learnt that an
investigation had been opened by the Justice system in Miami we
decided to follow the case and even sent two national legislators to
the trial sessions in the belief that it was highly important for
Argentina that this case be clarified. Then, during the session of
the House of Deputies held in December 19, the Civic Coalition bloc
voted against the repudiation of the United States prompted by the
official administration, and that the President of the Nation
herself had called a "trash operation," since we consider that in
republican nations the role of the Executive can not be confused
with that of the Justice system and that repudiation of the United
States meant ignoring the separation of powers.

It is for the above reasons that we are deeply concerned about
rumors of alleged complicity between the diplomatic representation
of the United States and the Argentine government to tone down, hide
or compartmentalize evidence related to the prosecution underway in
Miami in order to improve bilateral relations between both
countries.

The Civic Coalition believes in the independence of the Justice
system here and in every other country in the world and hopes that
an accusation as serious as that made by district attorney
Mulvihill, saying that the purpose was to forge evidence to mislead
the Argentine justice system about the origin and destination of the
cash, is not an item for barter and complicity between your
government and the government of our country.

Both republics must respect the independence of Justice systems and
should not play with such an important value.

I hope you can clear these doubts for us.

Sincerely,

Elisa Carrio, Civic Coalition President
Adrian Perez and Patricia Bullrich, Civic Coalition's Leaders in the
National Chamber of Deputies


5. (SBU) Action request: Embassy requests Washington clearance of
the following draft reply from the Ambassador to the letter above:

Dear Ms. Carrio, National Deputy Perez, and National Deputy
Bullrich:

Thank you for your correspondence of January 31.

Regarding the concerns that you expressed, I would like to point out
that the criminal prosecution underway in Miami is against four of
the five defendants alleged to be agents of the Venezuelan
government operating in the United States without notifying the
Attorney General as required by law. One of the defendants has
already pled guilty to that charge. It is not an investigation into
the violation of Argentine laws. I have attached for your
information a copy of my January 31 public comments on these
matters.

The Embassy has not negotiated and would not negotiate to "moderate,
hide or compartmentalize evidence related to the prosecution in
Miami in order to improve bilateral relations," nor does it have the
authority to do so. As we have said repeatedly in recent weeks, the
court case in Miami is proceeding independently of any foreign
policy or political considerations and will continue to do so. This
is the way the judicial process operates in the United States.

The separation of powers built into the U.S. constitution, in
particular the independence of the judiciary, is a hallmark of the
democratic system in the United States. Maintaining the integrity of
our courts and our judicial process is vital to our democracy.

Sincerely,

E. Anthony Wayne

WAYNE

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