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Cablegate: Unesco: Brasilia Field Office Investigation Now Of

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Lucia A Keegan 10/18/2006 09:56:19 AM From DB/Inbox: Lucia A Keegan

Cable
Text:


C O N F I D E N T I A L PARIS 06837

SIPDIS
cxparis:
ACTION: UNESCO
INFO: POL ECON AMBU AMB AMBO DCM SCI

DISSEMINATION: UNESCOX
CHARGE: PROG

APPROVED: AMB:LVOLIVER
DRAFTED: LEGALADV:TMPEAY
CLEARED: NONE

VZCZCFRI229
PP RUEHC RUEHBR RUCNDT
DE RUEHFR #6837/01 2901223
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 171223Z OCT 06
FM AMEMBASSY PARIS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2248
INFO RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA PRIORITY 1686
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 0927

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 PARIS 006837

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR IO/FO (GANDERSON), L/UNA (DSULLIVAN), L/DL
(CBROWN), WHA/BSC (MMATERA)

E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/17/2016
TAGS: UNESCO SCUL BR
SUBJECT: UNESCO: BRASILIA FIELD OFFICE INVESTIGATION NOW OF
A CRIMINAL NATURE

REF: (A) PARIS 6225 (NOTAL) (B) PARIS 06435

Classified By: MISSION LEGAL ADVISER T. MICHAEL PEAY, FOR REASONS 1.4 (
b) and (d).

1. (C) This is an action request; please see para. 6.

2. (C) Summary. On Friday, October 13, the U.S. Mission was
discreetly provided a copy of a letter addressed to UNESCO
Director-General Matsuura signed by two Brazilian Federal
Prosecutors who informed the D-G that the previously civil
investigation of irregularities at UNESCO's Field Office in
Brasilia has now turned criminal. While the letter
acknowledges that the Organization "is entitled to" immunity,
the specificity of the prosecutors' requests to the D-G to
cooperate with them (see para.3 below) and thereby
"facilitate the proper administration of Justice" could not
have been made clearer. Mission requests guidance and
recommends (see para. 6) that the Department, at a senior
level, discreetly inform Matsuura of the USG's firm wish and
expectation that he will take steps to ensure that the
Organization extends all necessary forms of assistance
requested to aid both the criminal and the civil
investigations. Our approach could affirm our respect for
the principle of immunity with regard to international
organizations and their senior officials, but at the same
time also affirm our conviction that UNESCO should, as the
letter requests, "help to prevent any abuse" of that immunity
to the detriment of this investigation. End Summary.

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3. (C) Specific Cooperation Requested. The prosecutors'
letter, dated October 12, 2006, informs Matsuura that their
investigation is "advancing quickly" and that "the
investigation is now of a criminal nature." The letter
requests the D-G's active cooperation with the prosecutors'
office in several specific respects. It asks him to submit
"all documents and/or reports (UNESCO) has that are directly
or indirectly related to the facts and parties involved in
the Public Civil Action", to which the letter alludes in an
earlier paragraph as an "ongoing investigation." The letter
also specifies several offices at UNESCO Headquarters from
which such assistance is particularly sought, including but
not limited to the Office of Legal Affairs, Internal
Oversight Service, UNESCO Brasilia Office, as well as
assistance from the External Auditors. (Comment: The new,
in-coming UNESCO External Auditor, Mr. Phillipe Seguin, is a
French national. However, we do not as yet have a sense of
how cooperative he is prepared to be, given the political
sensitivity of this investigation and given the fact that the
UNESCO's Deputy Director-General (Barboza) is Brazilian). End
Comment.

4. (C) UNESCO's Chief Internal Inspector, John Parsons
provided us with copies of the incoming letter (please
protect), demonstrating once again his willingness to take
risks to work closely with us to ensure we receive timely
information about this matter. However, he did so with the
caveat that the letter had only been given limited
circulation within UNESCO's secretariat. Fortuitously,
visiting IO DAS Gerry Anderson had had a very informative
private meeting with Parsons on October 12 and had been
orally forewarned by Parsons of the likelihood the civil
investigation would soon expand into the criminal realm.
This was then confirmed the following day by the letter.

5. (C) To date, we do not yet know whether a formal criminal
indictment has been handed down, when that would be likely,
or who the named defendants (or other parties) will be. We
expect to see further developments fairly soon, however. For
the moment, given the content of the prosecutors' letter,
Mission sees UNESCO, the Organization, as arguably analogous
to a "material witness" from whom the prosecutors are
actively soliciting voluntary (as opposed to compulsory)
cooperation, in order to gain access to documents, and
possibly testimony, needed to complete their investigation.
Interestingly, the letter refers to unspecified
"difficulties" the prosecutors have encountered in their
efforts to investigate the facts. It is not clear whether
this complaint is an allusion to non-cooperation, or worse,
obstruction, attributable to the Brasilia Field Office or
UNESCO Headquarters (though we believe that D-G Matsuura is
genuinely concerned and wants to get to the bottom of this).
That said, the D-G can demonstrate his bona fides by using
his authority to ensure full and appropriate Secretariat and
Field Office cooperation -- from the top down -- to assist in
this investigation.

6. (C) Action Request. For the foregoing reasons, we request
the Department's guidance and recommend the Department's
consideration of a discreet, senior-level approach to the D-G
to convey the U.S. Government's firm view and expectation
that he should take steps to ensure the Organization extends
the necessary forms of cooperation requested to aid both the
criminal and civil investigations.
7. (C) On the basis of the Mission's preliminary legal
research, it would appear that the D-G has a duty to exercise
his judgment and authority to actively cooperate with the
prosecutors in the interest of justice, pursuant to Article
VI, sections 19(a), 22, and 23 of the Convention on the
Privileges and Immunities of the Specialized Agencies of the
UN, in respect of UNESCO (to which Brazil is a party).
Mission Legal Adviser is prepared to work closely with the
relevant L offices to craft an appropriate confidential
letter from a senior Department official to Director-General
Matsuura.


Please visit Paris' Classified Website at:
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/eur/paris/index.c fm
STAPLETON

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