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Cablegate: Cn Activities in the Justice Sector

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KABUL 005025

SIPDIS

Sensitive but Unclassified

DEPARTMENT FOR INL/FO AND SA/FO AMB QUINN
NSC FOR AHARRIMAN/KAMED

E.O. 12958 N/A
TAGS: SNAR PGOV PTER PREL KCRM AF
SUBJECT: CN ACTIVITIES IN THE JUSTICE SECTOR


Summary
-------

1. (U) Summary: Justice reform and law enforcement are key
components of Embassy Kabul's Counter Narcotics
Implementation Plan (CIP). Over the past two months, the DOJ
prosecutors (assigned to the Embassy) have made significant
progress in establishing legal institutions and reforming
laws to ensure narcotics cases can be effectively prosecuted
in Afghanistan. The Counter Narcotics (CN) law is currently
being reviewed by the Afghan Ministry of Justice (MOJ) and
should be forwarded to President Karzai on or around
December 12 for his approval. Karzai will likely enact the
law, by decree, during the third week of December. The
Central Narcotics Tribunal (CNT) has moved into its
temporary facility and is operational. The CNT judges
petitioned the Supreme Court to transfer 10-12 previously
assigned narcotics cases to the CNT, including the Misri
Khan case. Similar petitions were filed by the Vertical
Prosecution Task Force (VPTF), which continues to review and
assign narcotics cases for prosecution. All high-level cases
will now be forwarded to the CNT for prosecution. Work
continues on the Counter Narcotics Justice Center. The
expected completion date is August 2006. End Summary.

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Counter Narcotics Law
---------------------
2. (U) Translation of the Counter Narcotics (CN) law was
completed on December 2 and the law was sent to the Afghan
Ministry of Justice/Taqnin for its review and approval.
After the Taqnin reviews the law, it will be sent to
President Karzai and his Cabinet which will convene on
December 12. The CN law is likely to be enacted, by decree,
during the third week of December.

3. (SBU) While the CN law largely has the support of the
international community, including the UK (lead nation on
CN), the new law has not been fully endorsed by UNODC and
UNAMA. To build consensus, DOJ prosecutors met with members
of UNODC and UNAMA to discuss the draft CN law to try and
allay their concerns that the law is too complex for the
Afghans to implement. UNODC and UNAMA were also concerned
that the draft procedural provisions of the CN law would
extend to all criminal prosecutions, not just narcotics
cases. UNODC and UNAMA also did not support the tougher
sentencing provisions, the electronic surveillance features
and certain aspects of the law regarding the use of
informants. UNODC's trepidation is surprising because many
of the law's regulatory features are based on UNODC
provisions that exist in other drug laws, and UNODC was
consulted throughout the entire drafting process. As a
result of DOJ's meetings with the UNODC and UNAMA lawyers,
accommodation was reached and the two UN entities are
supportive of the law's passage. (NOTE: The agreement
reached by UNODC and UNAMA addresses the issues raised in
UNVIE VIENNA 00749).

4. (SBU) In addition, to address UNODC and UNAMA's concerns,
the Afghans agreed to modify the penalties for second
offenses, enhancing subsequent penalties only when the
predicate convictions carried at least a five year minimum
sentence. UNODC accepted this comprise and agreed that the
existing code needed to be strengthened in order to improve
GOA's ability to target medium-to-high value targets (MVTs
and HVTs) and hence enforce the law more effectively.

Central Narcotics Tribunal
--------------------------
5. (U) The Central Narcotics Tribunal (CNT) relocated to its
temporary facilities on November 24. The CNT is operational
and has petitioned the Supreme Court to transfer all high-
level narcotics cases (there are 10-12 cases in progress) to
it from the Kabul Provincial Court. The Supreme Court has
not responded to the petition. The Chief of the Appellate
Section and the Attorney General have also requested that
the Supreme Court transfer the cases to the CNT. On November
30, DOJ prosecutors met with Afghan Chief Prosecutor Fazley
to discuss the Misri Khan case to determine how he can help
ensure the case's transfer to the CNT.

Vertical Prosecution Task Force
-------------------------------
6. (U) The 29 Afghan prosecutors assigned to the Vertical
Prosecution Task Force (VPTF) are responsible for
investigating and preparing cases for referral to the
Central Narcotics Tribunal (CNT). The VPTF is organized
into four units: investigative, trial, appellate and Supreme
Court. There are also 36 investigators who assist the
prosecutors. To date, the VPTF prosecutors have opened more
than 140 cases, a small number of which meet the criteria
for transfer to the CNT. Recently, VPTF prosecutors
petitioned the Supreme Court to transfer all medium to high
value target cases to the CNT.

Counter Narcotics Justice Center (CNJC)
---------------------------------------
7. (U) The Counternarcotics Justice Center, once
operational, will house the CNT and the VPTF and a detention
facility. The contract for the CNJC has been let and the
CNJC is slated for completion in August 2006. The interim
VPTF renovation project has solicited bids and information
technology project is almost complete.

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