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Cablegate: Kuwait War Crimes Case in Holding Pattern at Iraq

VZCZCXRO3268
RR RUEHDE RUEHDIR
DE RUEHKU #1120 1970647
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 160647Z JUL 07
FM AMEMBASSY KUWAIT
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 9613
INFO RUEHZM/GULF COOPERATION COUNCIL COLLECTIVE
RUEHGB/AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD 0938

UNCLAS KUWAIT 001120

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

NEA/ARP; S/WCI

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PHUM KJUS KAWC IZ KU
SUBJECT: KUWAIT WAR CRIMES CASE IN HOLDING PATTERN AT IRAQ
HIGH TRIBUNAL

1. (SBU) Summary: Robert Monk of the United States Regime
Crimes Liaison Office at the Iraq High Tribunal (IHT) told
GOK officials on July 10 and 11 that the Kuwait war crimes
case before the IHT would likely not be the next case heard
by the tribunal despite being the case most ready to go to
trial. Monk told the officials other cases with largely
Iraqi victims were likely to go to trial first because of
political pressures in Iraq. He said the GOK could advance
its cause by maintaining a continual or even periodic
presence at the IHT. He noted the new investigative judge
for the Kuwait case was very motivated to move the Kuwait
case forward. End summary.

2. (SBU) Baghdad Regime Crimes Liaison Office (RCLO)
representatives, Robert Monk, Jane Ellen Bagwell and Salah
Al-Hamadi met with Poloff on July 11 and discussed their July
10-11 meetings with Government of Kuwait (GOK) officials on
the status of the Kuwait war crimes case currently being
investigated by the IHT. (Note: The Kuwait case involves
crimes arising out of the 1990-91 Iraqi invasion and
occupation of Kuwait. End note.) The Kuwaiti officials the
RCLO met with were Assistant Attorney General Sultan Abu
Jarwa, Ministry of Defense Assistant Undersecretary Dr.
Mohammed Buzubar, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Director Khaled
Maqamis and National Committee of Missing Persons and POWs
Director Dr. Ibrahim Al-Shaheen. Monk told the GOK officials
that the Government of Iraq considers the Kuwait case to be
one of the four major cases the IHT is handling and that the
Kuwait case is the most advanced in terms of readiness to go
to trial, but that the other major cases all involve Iraqi
victims and are more likely to be tried before the Kuwait
case because they have a local victim constituency behind
them. Monk said the 1991 Southern Shia uprising case is most
likely the next to be heard by the IHT.

3. (SBU) On the positive side, Monk said that a new
investigating judge, Abdul Khadim, was appointed to handle
the Kuwait case. He said Khadim was a very good judge, who
was very interested in pushing the Kuwait case forward and
represented a big improvement over the previous judge
handling the Kuwait case. He said there will be a Digital
Video Conference (DVC) between Judge Khadim and the above GOK
officials in late July and that Khadim also plans to come to
Kuwait in September to interview witnesses.

4. (SBU) Monk assured the GOK officials that the RCLO pushes
IHT officials to move the Kuwait case forward but are limited
by the political leverage of the local victim constituencies
pushing the other war crimes cases. Monk said only one IHT
case can be tried at a time because there is only one IHT
courthouse and because of security requirements.

5. (SBU) Monk stressed the importance of personal
relationships in the IHT process and encouraged the GOK to
send permanent or regular delegations to the IHT. GOK
officials were generally unenthusiastic about this
proposition which was reflected in their preference for a DVC
with the Judge Khadim rather than meeting with him in
Baghdad.

6. (SBU) Monk noted the RCLO did not have current DOJ funding
to continue its work with the IHT beyond 9/30/2007. Monk
stressed to GOK officials that if the RCLO did not continue,
the GOK would need to have a plan to respond because they
would have no presence or advocate for their case in Baghdad,
and this would be a setback for moving their case forward.

7. (U) The RCLO cleared this cable.

********************************************* *
For more reporting from Embassy Kuwait, visit:
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/nea/kuwait/?cable s

Visit Kuwait's Classified Website:
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/nea/kuwait/
********************************************* *

Lenderking

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