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Cablegate: Cologne "Train Bomber" Indictment Reaches D\Sseldorf Higher

VZCZCXRO9629
RR RUEHAG RUEHLZ
DE RUEHDF #0024 1801355
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 291355Z JUN 07
FM AMCONSUL DUSSELDORF
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0086
INFO RUCNFRG/FRG COLLECTIVE
RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT 0001
RHMFIUU/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHINGTON DC
RUEFHLC/DEPT OF HOMELAND SECURITY WASHINGTON DC
RUEHDF/AMCONSUL DUSSELDORF 0100

UNCLAS DUSSELDORF 000024

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PTER KCRM MASS KOMC IR GM
SUBJECT: COLOGNE "TRAIN BOMBER" INDICTMENT REACHES D\SSELDORF HIGHER
REGIONAL COURT

REF: 06 DUSSELDORF 0015

Sensitive but Unclassified -- Not for Internet Distribution

1. (U) Almost eleven months after two Lebanese nationals
unsuccessfully tried to blow up two regional trains originating
in Cologne, the Federal Public Prosecutor on June 11 brought
criminal charges against one of the men, Youssef Mohammad
El-Hajdib. German police arrested the 22-year old El-Hajdib in
August 2006 and he has been in pre-trial detention ever since.
(The other suspect, Jihad Hamad, a former resident of Cologne,
escaped to Lebanon and was to face trial there). Prosecutors
charged El-Hajdib with multiple counts of attempted murder for
placing one of the suitcases containing IEDs on a train July 31,
2006. The Federal Prosecutor said El-Hajdib was attempting to
retaliate for the publication of the controversial Mohammed
caricatures some German newspapers republished earlier that
year. The bombs did not go off due to a technical failure, the
Prosecutor reported.

2. (SBU) Before the trial can begin, the court must approve the
indictment, which -- due to the current court recess -- is
unlikely before September. The presiding judge dealing with the
train bomber case told the CG June 22 that the trial itself
would probably not open until the end of 2007 because the court
is handling another major terrorist trial involving al-Qaida
supporters Iraqi National Ibrahim Mohamed Khalil and Palestinian
brothers Yasser Abu Shaweesh and Ismail Abu Shaweesh (reftel)
and is expecting a verdict to that case this fall.

3. (SBU) The President of the Higher Regional Court of
Duesseldorf and the head judge who will likely preside over this
case told us this court was chosen because of the North
Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) connection and the court's experience and
expertise in terrorism trials.

4. (U) This message was coordinated with Embassy Berlin.

BOYSE

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