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Cablegate: Us Marshals Service,S Special Operations Group

VZCZCXYZ0000
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHGB #2600/01 2711049
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 281049Z SEP 09
FM AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4859
INFO RUEAWJA/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHDC PRIORITY

UNCLAS BAGHDAD 002600

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

JUSTICE FOR ODAG:JJONES, CRM:BSWARTZ, USMS:DROBERTSON,
OPDAT:ANORMAN, ICITAP:TBARTLETT
STATE FOR INL/I, NEA/I

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: SOCI KCRM IZ KAWC
SUBJECT: US MARSHALS SERVICE,S SPECIAL OPERATIONS GROUP
COMPLETES FIVE- YEAR MISSION IN IRAQ

1. (U) SUMMARY: Following the removal of the Saddam
Hussein regime in Iraq, the United States Marshals Service,
Special Operations Group (SOG), ensured that Saddam and
members of the regime remained in custody to stand trial for
their crimes, worked to provide security for the nation,s
judges
and witnesses, and helped train a new generation of Iraqi
protective services personnel. With its mission completed,
on
September 20, 2009, the remaining SOG personnel in Baghdad
departed Post. END SUMMARY

2. (U) Since March 2004, 114 USMS SOG members have built
capacity for judicial and courthouse security with funding
from
the State Department,s Bureau of International Narcotics and
Law Enforcement (INL). SOG provided equipment and
resources for the protection of the judiciary and managed the
installation of modern screening and security equipment in
the
Iraqi courts. SOG also developed, managed and contracted
training for thousands of personal security detail members
for
the Iraqi judiciary and the uniformed Facility Protection
Service
(FPS) for Iraqi courthouses. In the early years of the
mission,
SOG members conducted interviews and collected evidence
for high profile cases including cases against Saddam Hussein
and his regime. It also ensured the safety of witnesses who
risked their lives and those of their families to appear and
testify in these high-profile cases. These efforts have made
the Iraqi judiciary safe and more secure, allowing the rule
of
law to develop over the six years since Saddam,s removal.

SUPPORT TO THE IRAQI HIGH TRIBUNAL
--------------------------------------------- ---------

3. (U) SOG also managed construction and renovation of the
Iraqi High Tribunal (IHT) courthouse, which tries individuals
from the Saddam Hussein regime for international crimes such
as genocide and crimes against humanity committed between
July 17, 1968 and May 1, 2003. The court began operations on
October 19, 2005. The court,s first day began with the
trial of
Saddam Hussein and seven other members of his government
for the killing of 148 civilians in the village of Al Dujayl.
Since
then the IHT has held numerous other trials against regime
members. SOG assistance to the court included training for
the
security force of the IHT; serving as a Quick Response Force
during trials conducted at the IHT; protecting and
transporting
witnesses; and facilitating the secure transfer of Saddam
Hussein to the Government of Iraq (GOI) for execution
following his conviction in the Al Dujayl case.

4. (SBU) as part of its assistance to the IHT, SOG also
created the
first Witness Protection Program in Iraq. They created five
secure facilities to house and protect witnesses during their
involvement at trial in the International Zone starting in
the
fall of 2005 during the Saddam Hussein trial. At that time,
a
pre-existing camp was upgraded and secured to implement the
initiative. Several more camps were added during that trial
to
house defense counsel. Planning for pending trials and the
need to house witnesses not involved with regime crimes led
to the establishment of several safe site camps. Over time,
the
camps were consolidated into a more efficient model, allowing
for security and cost savings, as well as a simplified
turnover.
SOG also transported witnesses throughout Iraq for production
during IHT trials. SOG turned over security responsibilities
Qduring IHT trials. SOG turned over security responsibilities
at
the IHT to the GOI in September 2008 and the witness camps in
November 2008.

COURTHOUSE AND JUDICIAL SECURITY EFFORTS
--------------------------------------------- ---------

5. (SBU) SOG also oversaw the renovation and administration

of the Al-Hayat Towers, a judicial security complex designed
to
safely house and protect members of the Iraqi judiciary and
their families. The Al-Hayat is a secure housing complex
that
houses over 40 judges and their families. The complex was
rehabilitated at the direction of the USMS to house members
of the Higher Judicial Council (HJC). These judges preside
over
terrorism and other major criminal cases at the Central
Criminal Court of Iraq (CCC-I). On September 30, 2008, SOG
turned over possession of the Al-Hayat Towers to the GOI.

6. (U) SOG also managed construction and renovation of the
CCC-I courthouse building. The CCC-I is located immediately
outside the confines of the International Zone in the area
known as the Red Zone in Baghdad. The SOG mission was to
establish the court as an avenue to try cases including
terrorism, public corruption, and attacks on Coalition
Forces.
Security is provided by FPS and Iraqi Police (IP). SOG
established the court and trained the assigned FPS in
courthouse operations.

7. (U) SOG reviewed and redesigned plans for four secure
regional courthouse complexes, positioned in Basra, Hillah,
and Baghdad (Rusafa and Karkh), to enhance rule of law. SOG
personnel advised on construction until the projects were
completed, staffed by properly trained personnel and running
smoothly. The cost of these projects was over $40 million.

8. (U) In adddition, SOG performed physical security
assessments
on over 30 Iraqi court structures in Baghdad and over 50
courthouses throughout Iraq. These assessments provided for
security upgrades to courthouses that allowed for controlling
access, both vehicle and foot traffic, help secure
courthouses
against bombings, mitigate damage from bombings both to the
buildings and personnel within. This additional protection
helped the judiciary perform their duties and advanced the
rule of law in Iraq.

9. (SBU) COMMENT: During the five years that USMS SOG has
been part of US federal law enforcement assistance efforts to
the GOI, the security of the Iraqi judicial system has
improved
markedly. The improved security posture promoted by SOG
has led to a substantial decrease in the assassination of
judges
and judicial personnel as well as overall security incidents
in
Iraq. With a more secure judiciary, Iraq,s legal
professionals
have been able to focus on developing the rule of law to
develop and mature. END COMMENT.
HASLACH

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