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Cablegate: Prt Kirkuk: Order to Hasten Return of Property

VZCZCXYZ0007
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHGB #4223 3651426
ZNR UUUUU ZZH (CCY AD451DE2 MSI9414-695)
R 311426Z DEC 07
FM AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5055
INFO RUCNRAQ/IRAQ COLLECTIVE
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
RUEKJCS/DIA WASHDC
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE
RUEAHQA/HQ USAF WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS BAGHDAD 004223

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

C O R R E C T E D COPY CAPTION
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PBTS PREL KDEM PHUM MARR IZ
SUBJECT: PRT KIRKUK: ORDER TO HASTEN RETURN OF PROPERTY
THAT SADDAM CONFISCATED

This is a Kirkuk Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) message.

1. (SBU) Summary: The Article 140 committee in October
approved Order #6 to return land in parts of Kirkuk to its
mostly Turcoman original owners. The decision potentially
relieves the backlogged Commission for the Resolution of Real
Property Disputes (CRRPD) of nearly a third of its caseload,
although it has since languished in the Prime Minister,s
office awaiting final approval. The delay in returning lands
Saddam expropriated has become increasingly inflammatory in
Kirkuk and the Order is a step in the right direction.

Order To Help Restore Seized Property
-------------------------------------

2. (U) The Article 140 Committee during a meeting in early
October 2007 approved what is known as Order #6. This order
rescinds the expropriation of two areas of Kirkuk, Tasaaen
and Hamza Lee, which were originally inhabited by Turcomen
and taken during the Saddam era. The Order restores the
property to its original owners and forgives any previous
payment or compensation that was in some cases given to
owners for their expropriated property. Allegedly this
represents 30% of the Commission for the Resolution of Real
Property Disputes (CRRPD),s Kirkuk caseload; the CRRPD
reportedly is dipleased with Order #6 and its head threatened
to resign over it. The Order since October has awaited Prime
Minister Maliki,s final approval.

3. (U) The CRRPD, the successor to the Iraq Property Claims
Commission (IPCC), is an independent GOI agency, answering to
the Council of Ministers, that adjudicates claims to property
the former regime expropriated Through the CRRPD, victims
may have their properties reinstated to them or receive
compensation if their properties are in public use. The
property's current owners receive compensation as well.
Although all groups suffered expropriations, most of the
victims in Kirkuk province were Turcomen, who were
disproportionately large landholders.

Comment
-------

4. (SBU) The backlog of unprocessed disputed property cases
before the CRRPD is a sore point in Kirkuk and exacerbates
communal tension. As of 8 November (the most recent data
available to the PRT), CRRPD offices in Kirkuk has received
approximately 35,800 cases, begun adjudicating 6,800, and
fully adjudicated only 2,418. Some cases have languished for
years, and Kurds and Turcomen who have not seen justice done
through the legal system are tempted to extralegal action.
To facilitate the orderly resolution of property claims
stemming from the previous regime,s policies, the Council of
Ministers should give the CRRPD additional staff and
resources, in addition to job security by hiring them as
permanent GoI staff - they are currently contract employees,
so working faster would put them out of a job.
CROCKER

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