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Cablegate: Dhs and Doj Visit Tallinn to Negotiate Pcsc Agreement

VZCZCXRO8513
PP RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHDA RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLN
RUEHLZ RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHTL #0260 2111208
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 291208Z JUL 08
FM AMEMBASSY TALLINN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0731
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS TALLINN 000260

DEPT FOR JBRENNAN (CA/VO/F), BGILCHRIST (EUR/NB)

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: CMGT CVIS CPAS EN
SUBJECT: DHS AND DOJ VISIT TALLINN TO NEGOTIATE PCSC AGREEMENT

REF: 08 TALLINN 64

1. Summary: A U.S. delegation co-led by the Department of Justice
(DoJ) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) visited Tallinn
on July 21 to spearhead negotiations of a Prum-like, PCSC
(Preventing and Combating Serious Crime) Agreement with the
Government of Estonia (GoE). An information-sharing agreement at
its core, the accord will formalize law enforcement cooperation
among the DoJ, DHS, and GoE and, furthermore, it will fulfill one of
the technical obligations required for Estonia to join the Visa
Waiver Program (VWP). Both sides expect a final version will be
ready for signature by early September. End Summary

2. Meetings started in the morning and concluded by early afternoon
on July 21. Prior to the meeting the GoE and the delegation had
several preliminary conversations about the text's content and
potentially problematic language. The delegation, by and large,
assuaged these GoE concerns. However, four questions need to be
resolved prior to formalizing the text:

A) The GoE wants to further evaluate the DNA provisions of the
agreement. It is now understood that neither side possesses the
legislative or technical means to actively share this kind of data.
However, these provisions should remain a part of the agreement in
hopes that an infrastructure can be set up in the coming years to
support DNA analysis and sharing. [Comment: While the GoE asked to
review the language again, it is unlikely to suggest any
amendments.]

B) Articles 4 and 5 of the text will be reworded to take into
account the GoE's lack of an automated fingerprint database that
links to criminal history record information. Other mention in the
text alluding to Articles 4 and 5 will be changed to conform to the
updated language.

C) The USG delegation will determine if additions to the text
suggested by the GoE can be incorporated into Articles 13, 14 and
15.

D) Both sides have agreed to further explore a specific, yet
flexible, definition of "serious crime" that meets the needs of both
governments. This appears to be the single legitimate obstacle for
the GoE. Ambassador Aino Lepik Von Wiren (head of the GoE
negotiating team) stated that the GoE required a more specific
definition of serious crime to provide clarity in order to sign the
document. The USG delegation has suggested using language from the
U.S.-Estonian and/or US-EU extradition treaty and will follow up
with a recommendation. [Comment: the U.S.-Estonian Extradition
Treaty is from the 1920s; therefore it will not work for this
purpose.]

3. Both sides expressed satisfaction with the outcome of the
negotiations and optimism that the agreement will be ready to sign
by early September. Discussions of the aforementioned four
questions will take place via email. The USG delegation also
reiterated the need to review the Estonian translation of the text.
Once signed, future negotiations will take place to flesh out the
technical arrangements and mechanisms to implement data sharing.

4. The PCSC agreement satisfies a critical requirement for Estonia
to join the VWP. A signed agreement [without the subsequent
implementing arrangements] will mean that Estonia has fulfilled one
of its commitments on information sharing relative to the VWP MOU
(reftel) signed by Secretary Chertoff in March.

DECKER

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