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Cablegate: Spain/Al-Kassar: Council of Ministers Approves U.S

VZCZCXRO3282
PP RUEHAG RUEHROV
DE RUEHMD #0640 1581537
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 061537Z JUN 08
FM AMEMBASSY MADRID
TO RUEAWJA/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4913
INFO RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHDM/AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS PRIORITY 0349
RUEHLA/AMCONSUL BARCELONA PRIORITY 3455
RUEHBS/DEA BRUSSELS BE PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEHNA/DEA HQS WASHDC PRIORITY
RUCNFB/FBI WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEAHLC/HOMELAND SECURITY CENTER WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEILB/NCTC WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L MADRID 000640

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR L/LEI BELLINGER, S/CT DAILEY AND EUR/WE
NSC FOR JUAN ZARATE
DEA FOR PAUL CRAINE, MICHAEL BRAUN AND THOMAS HARRIGAN

E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/05/2018
TAGS: CJAN PTER PREL PGOV SP
SUBJECT: SPAIN/AL-KASSAR: COUNCIL OF MINISTERS APPROVES U.S
REQUEST FOR EXTRADITION

REF: A. MADRID 611
B. MADRID 312
C. MADRID 007

Classified By: Ambassador Eduardo Aguirre, Jr. for Reasons 1.4 (b) and
(d)

1. (C) Spanish Interior Minister Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba
phoned the Ambassador on June 6 to say that the Council of
Ministers had just approved the extradition to the U.S. of
notorious Syrian arms trafficker Monzer Al-Kassar. Further
to REFTELS, today's action by the Council was the final
political decision we had been awaiting since Al-Kassar was
taken into Spanish custody almost one year ago today (June 7,
2007), and is a tribute to the work of several members of the
Mission Country Team and Washington interagency.

2. (C) We will remain in close contact with Spanish
authorities to ensure that the transfer is made as quickly
and as securely as possible. Our understanding is that the
Council of Ministers will now issue a formal order to the
National Court (Audiencia Nacional) to authorize the transfer
of Al-Kassar. This will likely happen on Monday or Tuesday
June 9-10. Madrid DEA Country Attache spoke today with
Interpol representatives in Spain, who set Thursday June 12
as the target date for Al-Kassar to be handed over to the
U.S. Today's Council of Ministers decision is a great
victory and the definitive step towards ensuring that this
alleged terrorist faces justice in the U.S.
Aguirre

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