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Cablegate: Lebanon Tribunal: Progress Continues

VZCZCXYZ0000
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUCNDT #0525 1681441
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 161441Z JUN 08
FM USMISSION USUN NEW YORK
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4431
INFO RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT IMMEDIATE 1389
RUEHTC/AMEMBASSY THE HAGUE IMMEDIATE 9039

UNCLAS USUN NEW YORK 000525

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PTER UNSC SY LE
SUBJECT: LEBANON TRIBUNAL: PROGRESS CONTINUES

REF: A. USUN/IO EMAIL (WILCOX/REINEMEYER)-06/13/08
B. IO/USUN EMAIL (HACKETT/WILCOX)-06/12/08
C. USUN 468
D. USUN 435
E. USUN/IO EMAIL (WILCOX/REINEMEYER)-05/27/08
F. USUN 171
G. STATE 1170 (2007)
H. USUN 1185 (2007)
I. USUN 384

1. (SBU) BEGIN SUMMARY: Work to set up the Special Tribunal
for Lebanon (STL) continues to progress, with the Management
Committee's adoption of financial regulations and rules for
the STL and the conclusion of the lease agreement for the
building in The Hague that will house the STL. With new
contributions from Belgium and the UK, the STL now has USD
42.7 million in hand, in addition to another USD 15 million
in pledges (ref A). On June 19, STL Prosecutor-Designate
Daniel Bellemare, who heads the UN International Independent
Investigative Commission (UNIIIC), will brief the Committee
on his requests for staffing the STL's Office of the
Prosecutor. Three members of the STL Registrar's advance
team leave New York for The Hague in the next two weeks, and
the Management Committee is close to completing its
consideration of draft staff regulations for the STL. END
SUMMARY.

2. (SBU) At its tenth meeting on June 12, the Management
Committee for the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) focused
on staffing-related issues, including the draft staff
regulations for the STL. Per ref B, USUN suggested revisions
to bring the financial disclosure provisions of the draft
staff regulations into line with the UN's policies on
financial disclosure. No other Committee members objected,
and the draft will be revised accordingly for the Committee
to adopt soon. USUN also proposed that the STL Registrar
designate an appropriate senior staff member to review
completed financial disclosure statements and serve the
function of an ethics officer. The Committee agreed that STL
Registrar Robin Vincent would develop procedures for
reviewing the disclosure statements and report to the
Committee, and on the margins of the meeting Vincent told
USUN that one of the senior legal officers would likely be
able to assume that function.

3. (SBU) In response to USUN, Vincent also clarified a draft
provision of the regulations that would require the STL to
reimburse its staff members for any income taxes they pay.
Vincent said such reimbursements would be funded out of the
STL's general operating expenses. The Special Court for
Sierra Leone (SCSL) has used the same mechanism to reimburse
its staff members' income tax payments. Because most states
worldwide exempt their nationals from paying taxes on income
they earn while working for the UN and organizations like the
SCSL, Vincent said the cost to the SCSL of paying such
reimbursements has been low. Vincent expected the same for
the STL.

4. (SBU) Finally, Vincent said two members of his advance
team would arrive in The Hague on June 16 and 18, with a
third arriving on June 23. Vincent will remain in New York
until the Management Committee has approved the staffing
proposal for the STL and has not yet confirmed his departure
date for The Hague. Vincent said he has posted a job
announcement for a temporary liaison officer, who would be
based in New York and coordinate with the advance team in The
Hague.

5. (SBU) The Committee will meet on June 19 to discuss
proposed staffing levels for the STL. Vincent has agreed to
provide Committee members with a detailed narrative
justifying proposed staffing levels for the STL on June 16.
Khalilzad

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