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Cablegate: Ola Legal Counsel to Travel to the Netherlands To

VZCZCXRO7508
OO RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHBZ RUEHDA RUEHDBU RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW
RUEHLA RUEHLN RUEHLZ RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUCNDT #0697/01 2342345
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 222345Z AUG 07
FM USMISSION USUN NEW YORK
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2504
INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUEHGG/UN SECURITY COUNCIL COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT IMMEDIATE 1143
RUEHDM/AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS IMMEDIATE 0360
RUEHTC/AMEMBASSY THE HAGUE IMMEDIATE 8921

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 USUN NEW YORK 000697

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PTER UNSC KCRM SY LE NE
SUBJECT: OLA LEGAL COUNSEL TO TRAVEL TO THE NETHERLANDS TO
DISCUSS SPECIAL TRIBUNAL FOR LEBANON

REF: A. USUN 688
B. WILCOX/REINEMEYER EMAIL--08-22-07
C. WILCOX/REINEMEYER EMAIL--08-07-07

1. Begin Summary: UN Legal Counsel Nicolas Michel will lead
a high-level UN delegation to the Netherlands in the next two
weeks to discuss practical arrangements for the Netherlands
to host the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, Michel's Special
Assistant Mark Quarterman advised USUN August 21. The
Secretary-General will issue a short progress report to the

SIPDIS
Security Council on September 5, and Nicolas Michel will
likely brief Council members on it in consultations September
19. That report will include a
notional three-year budget for the Tribunal and report on the
UN's other initiatives to establish the Tribunal, including
the selection of a location, judges, prosecutors, and the
registrar. End Summary.

OLA Plans Trip
--------------

2. UN Office of Legal Affairs (OLA) Special Assistant Mark
Quarterman briefed USUN legal and poloffs August 21 on steps
the OLA is taking to establish the Special Tribunal for
Lebanon. In response to Dutch Prime Minister Jan
Balkenende's August 15 letter to the Secretary-General,
advising that the Netherlands is "favorably disposed" to
hosting the Tribunal (refs A and B), UN Legal Counsel Nicolas
Michel is finalizing plans to travel to the Netherlands the
week of August 27-31 or September 3-7. Michel will be
accompanied by his deputy, Larry Johnson; Robin Vincent, the
former registrar of the Special Court for Sierra Leone
(SCSL); and (possibly) a security expert. Depending on the
outcome, OLA expects to send a working level delegation to
the Netherlands in September.

3. Quarterman seemed confident that Michel's trip would be
fruitful, noting that the Dutch have established an
Inter-Ministry Working Group on the Tribunal and have
identified potential sites. Although OLA has not yet seen a
list of sites, Quarterman expected that Camp Zeist, the
International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
(ICTY), and the International Criminal Court (ICC) would be
included. In response to a question from USUN, Quarterman
acknowledged that the ICTY's facilities are operating at
capacity and the ICC is hosting the SCSL's Charles Taylor
trial, but said both facilities might still have available
office and detention space.

Issues to be Resolved
---------------------

4. In addition to the need to select and prepare a site for
the Tribunal, Prime Minister Balkenende's August 15 letter
highlights other issues that will need to be resolved. For
example, the Dutch want to address the establishment of the
necessary legal basis for locating the Tribunal in the
Netherlands (through a headquarters agreement and national
legislation), the enforcement of sentences, and the
relocation of witnesses to third states. The Dutch have
given OLA no indications that their Parliament will block any
necessary national legislation, Quarterman said. The key
issue will be the Dutch request for prior assurances that
other states will take persons convicted by the Tribunal
"immediately" after their trials conclude. Comment: This
issue also arose when the Taylor trial was transferred to The
Hague. End Comment.

Fundraising
-----------

5. Otherwise, the UN is proceeding to finalize a three-year
budget estimate for the Tribunal, which will be included in
the SYG's September report to the Security Council.
Quarterman would not divulge a specific number, but said it
would be more than the SCSL's budget (because the Tribunal
will be housed in Europe) and less than the ICTY's.
Quarterman stressed that security costs would likely be
"fairly extensive" and thus increase costs.

6. The UN will use the final budget estimate to raise funds,
Quarterman said, noting that the UN already has begun
discussions with potential donors. The Lebanese have advised
OLA that they are interested in contributing but need the
final budget. In the meantime, the Lebanese have secured a
legal opinion from their lawyers advising that no

USUN NEW Y 00000697 002 OF 002


Parliamentary approval is necessary for a one-year
contribution, and Lebanon's constitutional experts are
examining whether Security Council Resolution 1757 (2007)
would obviate a need for Parliament to approve subsequent
years' funding. The SYG raised funding for the Tribunal in
his recent meeting with the Saudi Foreign Minister, although
Quarterman did not know how the Foreign Minister had
responded. The Germans (although not at the highest levels)
have expressed "some interest" in funding the Tribunal, and
OLA hopes the United States, Canada, and other European
states would contribute.

Identifying Judges, Other Personnel
--------------------------------------

7. Quarterman also said OLA has started soliciting
nominations for judges and hopes to end the process by the
end of the year. In addition to Nicolas Michel's August 1
letter inviting states to submit nominations for judges by
September 24 (ref C), OLA has spoken informally with
non-governmental organizations in New York and Europe to
solicit names. Although OLA hopes to identify names and
announce appointments by the end of the year at the earliest,
Quarterman said the judges would not be in place until the
beginning of next year at best. Separately, Quarterman said
the UN is "thinking hard" about the need to protect the
judges, which could affect the timing of their appointment
and raises legal questions for the UN since the judges will
not be UN employees.

8. UNIIIC Commissioner Serge Brammertz also is advising OLA
on the establishment of the Prosecutor's Office. OLA is
thinking about how to ensure a smooth transition and
"extensive" overlap between Brammertz, whose contract expires
in December 2007, and his successor. Ideally, the new
Commissioner and the Tribunal's prosecutor would be the same
person, Quarterman said, while acknowledging that the UN
would need to hew closely to the UN-Lebanese Agreement's
provisions on appointing the prosecutor.

9. Noting Russia's insistence in 2006 that the Defense
Office be an organ of the Tribunal, Quarterman said OLA also
would begin work to identify a candidate to head the Defense
Office.

10. Finally, Quarterman said the UN would be recruiting the
registrar. Unlike the judges, prosecutors, and defense
attorneys, that position will be a UN staff post, so the UN
will be recruiting through its own human resources system.


KHALILZAD

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