Search

 

Cablegate: Ambassador Discusses Hague Convention, Mielec

VZCZCXRO5117
PP RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHDA RUEHDBU RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLA
RUEHLN RUEHLZ RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHWR #1457/01 1761508
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 251508Z JUN 07
FM AMEMBASSY WARSAW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4638
INFO RUEHKW/AMCONSUL KRAKOW PRIORITY 1754
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 WARSAW 001457

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR EUR/NCE, CA
EUR/NCE FOR DKOSTELANCIK, BPUTNEY
CA/OCS/CI FOR ECHERRY
COMMERCE FOR 4232/ITA/MAC/EUR/OECA/MROGERS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: CASC EINV ECON PREL PL
SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR DISCUSSES HAGUE CONVENTION, MIELEC
INVESTIGATION WITH MINISTER OF JUSTICE ZIOBRO

REF: STATE 85445 AND PREVIOUS

WARSAW 00001457 001.2 OF 002


1. (SBU) Summary. Ambassador met with Minister of Justice
Ziobro to discuss Hague Convention on International Child
Abduction enforcement and the investigation of corruption in
the privatization of the Mielec aircraft factory. Minister
Ziobro promised to look into the handling of the Szuta case
in which a court recently awarded custody to the taking
parent despite a Hague ruling ordering the children returned
to the U.S. The Minister requested information from the U.S.
on three pending cases of Polish children in the U.S. On the
Mielec privatization, the Minister promised that the
investigation would be conducted fairly, although could not
guarantee that the investigation would be concluded speedily.
He also promised to contact that Rzeszow prosecutor
overseeing the case to request that information in the
investigation be tightly controlled. End Summary.

2. (SBU) Ambassador met with Minister of Justice Ziobro and
Undersecretary of State Duda on June 22 to discuss problems
with implementation of the Hague Convention on International
Child Abduction in Poland and the investigation into the
privatization of the Mielec aircraft factory. Also present
were Consul General, and Econ officer (notetaker).

Hague Convention
----------------
3. (SBU) The Ambassador began the discussion with Minister
Ziobro by conveying ref talking points regarding our concern
regarding Poland's application and enforcement of the Hague
Convention and referring in particular to the recent ruling
in the Szuta case, in which the taking parent was granted
custody even though there was an earlier Hague order that the
children be returned to the U.S. He stressed that there is
no provision in the Hague Convention which allows for the
reexamination of a custody order because the local
authorities could not carry out the original return order.
Custody issues are always difficult, especially when children
are in different countries, but it is the USG position that
as both Poland and the U.S. are signatories to the Hague
Convention, its provisions should be carried out.

4. (SBU) It is also Poland's position that both countries
should abide by the Hague Convention, replied Minster Ziobro.
Because of the special relationship between parents and
children it is hard for authorities to enforce return orders
if parents are determined to hide their children. Such
conduct is socially approved and makes it harder for the
government to locate children and act. Poland experiences
the same problems when it seeks the return of children from
other EU countries, such as Italy, to say nothing of
countries in the Middle East. Poland also has three cases
from 2005 and 2006 in which it is seeking the return of
children from the U.S. The Minsitry is criticized by left
behind parents and their relatives for ineffectiveness and
would like these cases to proceed more smoothly through the
U.S. judicial system.

5. (SBU) The Ambassador asked the Minister to give us the
names and specifics of the Polish cases in the U.S. that he
was referring to, promising that we would ask the Department
to look into them. In return he requested that the GOP
provide similar information on cases in Polish courts.
Minister Ziobro promised to have Undersecretary Andrzej Duda,
present at the meeting, look into our complaints regarding
the handling of the Szuta case. The CG added that the Szuta
ruling is particularly disturbing to us as it awarded the
taking parent custody, thereby rewarding her for evading ther
original order. It also sets a precedent for other cases in
which parents who have abducted children and evaded return
orders simply wait a period of time and then argue that the
other parent has no relationship with the child. This
clearly overturns the Hague Convention.

6. (SBU) In an aside after the meeting, Ambassador and CG
impressed on Undersecretary Duda the importance of reaching
out to judges to educate them on the Hague Conventions.
Duda replied that relations between the Ministry and judges
is not good and the Ministry in any case cannot interfere in
judicial proceedings. CG argued that training judges to
understand Poland's obligations under the treaty is not
interference but education.

7. (SBU) Comment: Although our concerns were not directly

WARSAW 00001457 002.2 OF 002


addressed, it is encouraging that we have been invited to
discuss Hague issues with a much higher level MOJ official.
Poland's Central Authority at MOJ has not been enthusiastic
about regional traiing for judicial authorities, but given
Ziobro's reference to other EU child abduction cases, this
could be a good time to explore again regional training
opportunities. One of the problems with the Hague
Convention training for judges in Poland is that there is no
way to predict who among the many might ever handle a Hague
case. Therefore, we would recommend that any such training
emphasize how central authorities can more proactively and
effectively reach out to judges and prosecutors before
hearings begin and before decisions are made. End comment.

Mielec Investigation
--------------------
8. (SBU) On the investigation into allegations of
corruption in the privatization of the Mielec aircraft
factory by the Ministry of State Treasury and the Defense
Property Agency (ARP), the Ambassador emphasized that he is
concerned that the investigation is unfairly tarnishing the
name and reputation of UTC/Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, the
new owner of the Mielec plant. The current GOP approved the
privatization. The Tarnobzeg prosecutor investigating the
case spoke openly to the press. Sikorsky is a reputable firm
and is being unfairly criticized for a privatization in which
the company saved jobs and agreed to expand operations. The
Ambassador hoped that there would be no further leaks to the
media and the investigation be completed quickly, no matter
how it turns out.

9. (SBU) Minister Ziobro, familiar with the investigation,
explained that there is a problem with privatizations in
Poland have important social consequences and that they must
be conducted fairly. Both the prosecutor and the Minister of
Justice have an obligation to ensure that they carry out
investigations in a fair fashion when they are alerted to
allegations of impropriety. So far, there have been no
additional activities on the Mielec investigation other than
the interrogation of the journalist making the allegations of
impropriety in the privatization. Under Polish law it is not
prohibited for a witness to talk about a case, his testimony,
or the documents he provides a prosecutor. If other
journalists ask the prosecutor if he's investigating a case
he has no choice other than to tell them that he is.
However, other developments in the case, testimony, and
documents will not be made public. Journalists may be able
to obtain such information but the Ministry of Justice will
make sure that the procedure is as fair as possible. The
Minister promised to contact the Rzeszow prosecutor
overseeing the Tarnobzeg prosecutor investigating the case to
urge him to tighten control over information. The Minister
could not guarantee that the journalist or other subjects
being interviewed will not talk to journalists.

10. (SBU) Minister Ziobro promised that he would ensure
that the investigation is fair. However, he can not ensure
that it will be speedy as Polish courts rely on technical
experts who are subject to market forces. The prosecutor
might want to conclude a case but may not be able to convince
the technical experts to provide needed analysis in a timely
fashion. Ziobro concluded by stating that the investigation
is not aimed at anyone in particular, and certainly not
against Sikorsky Aircraft.
ASHE

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On The Washington Riot And The Georgia Results
Hong Kong and Washington DC. On the same morning, the tyrants in power in Beijing and their counterpart in the White House have shown how they refuse to accept the legitimacy of any different points of view, and the prospect of losing power… More>>

WHO: Vaccination No Guarantee Of Virus Eradication

In the final World Health Organization (WHO) COVID-19 press conference of the year, on Monday, senior officials warned that the virus is 'not necessarily the big one', and that there is a real chance of another, more serious pandemic spreading ... More>>

Covid: Two Billion COVID Vaccine Doses Secured, WHO Says End Of Pandemic Is In Sight

The end of the pandemic is in sight but we must not let our guard down, the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday, as he welcomed the news that the global vaccine partnership COVAX has lined up almost two billion doses of existing ... More>>

UN: Guterres To Seek Second Five-year Term
António Guterres will be seeking a second five-year term as UN Secretary-General, which would begin in January 2022.... More>>


UN Rights Office: Iran Execution Of Child Offender Breaks International Law

The execution of an Iranian man for a crime allegedly committed when he was 16 years old has been condemned by the UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR) and raised concerns over violations of his right to a fair trial. In a statement released on Thursday, ... More>>

UN News: Fighting Displaces Over 500,000 In Northern Mozambique, Reports UN Refuge Agency

Attacks by armed groups in Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado, Nampula, Zambezia and Niassa provinces have displaced more than 530,000 people, many of whom have been forced to move multiple times, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) said on Friday. According to ... More>>