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Cablegate: Djibouti Condemns Latest Borrel Case Judgment

VZCZCXRO0083
RR RUEHROV
DE RUEHDJ #0309 0921319
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 011319Z APR 08
FM AMEMBASSY DJIBOUTI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 9123
INFO RUCNIAD/IGAD COLLECTIVE
RHMFIUU/CJTF HOA

UNCLAS DJIBOUTI 000309

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR AF/E
LONDON, ROME, PARIS FOR AFRICA-WATCHER
CJTF-HOA FOR POLAD

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL KPAO KJUS DJ FR
SUBJECT: DJIBOUTI CONDEMNS LATEST BORREL CASE JUDGMENT

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: Djibouti has reacted with outrage to the
latest judgment in the long-running series of legal battles
between France and Djibouti over the 1995 death of French
magistrate Bernard Borrel in Djibouti. In a March 29
communique, the GODJ strongly condemned the Versailles
Correctional Tribunal's verdict against Djiboutian Security
Service Chief Hassan Said and Chief Prosecutor Djama
Souleiman. On March 27, the Versailles court found both
defendants guilty of illegally influencing the testimony of
two witnesses in the Borrel case, Mohammed Saleh Alhoumekani
and Ali Iftin. Iftin and Alhoumekani had earlier testified
that President Guelleh and other Djiboutian officials were
responsible for Borrel's death. Despite the refusal of the
defendants and the principal witnesses to respond to
subpoenas, the Court levied in absentia sentences of twelve
months of prison for Hassan Said and eighteen months of
prison for Djama Souleiman. END SUMMARY.

2. (U) Post's translation of the French-language communique,
which received prominent coverage in national state-run
media, follows:

BEGIN TEXT:

The Republic of Djibouti is not surprised by the overtly
racist decision of the Correctional Tribunal of Versailles,
which on March 27 upheld arrest warrants and sentenced the
Chief Prosecutor of Djibouti to 18 months of prison and the
Chief of the National Security Service to 12 months of prison
for an alleged offense of witness subornation.

This verdict is nothing but the result of an investigation
conducted since November 2002 in a climate of hatred towards
Djiboutians by activist judges connected with Mrs. Borrel,
herself a magistrate and a "partie civile." These French
magistrates therefore know well that they risk nothing in
thus seriously violating the most elementary judicial rules,
including for example the competencies of French justice.

The Republic of Djibouti had already forcefully denounced the
fact that the French government did not guarantee a fair and
independent trial for these Djiboutian nationals. The
magistrates who sentenced the Chief Prosecutor of Djibouti
and the Chief of the National Security Service are all
members of the union of magistrates, which is the "partie
civile" in the Borrel affair being investigated in Paris;
therefore the magistrates are both judges and concerned
parties!

It is now obvious that the French government, which like Mrs.
Borrel chooses to hide the real reason for the death of
Bernard Borrel, has once again chosen to keep a deafening
silence about the serious malfunctioning of its judicial
system, and has preferred to allow the condemnation of
Djiboutian officials to escape its own responsibility.

In fact, the French government has kept the cause of the
death of Bernard Borrel--which is rooted in crimes of
pedophilia committed against street children in Djibouti by
French diplomats, civil servants, soldiers, and
clergymen--sealed as a "Defense Secret" since October 1995.

The French state has made itself an accomplice to these
crimes of pedophilia not only by guaranteeing the impunity of
the authors of these heinous crimes, but also by continuing
to silence the rare French citizens who have dared to
denounce the horror of this crime.

The Republic of Djibouti will consider all the consequences
of this action whereby the French government took the side of
injustice and lies.

END POST TRANSLATION

3. (SBU) COMMENT: The GODJ's outrage over this latest
development is a further sign that the Borrel affair--now
over twelve years old--continues to complicate the
Franco-Djiboutian relationship, despite President Sarkozy
inviting Djiboutian president Guelleh for a state visit to
France in late 2007. END COMMENT.

WONG

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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