|04DJIBOUTI1084||2004-08-12 11:31:00||UNCLASSIFIED||Embassy Djibouti|
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
1. (U) Summary: Questions on the involvement of President
Ismael Omar Guelleh in the death of French Judge Bernard
Borel resurfaced due to Guelleh's upcoming visit to France.
Lawyers in the case, reopened in France at the request of
Borel's widow, are said to have expressed a desire to
question Guelleh while he is in country. French authorities
have issued statements saying Guelleh will not be questioned
based on standard international law regarding diplomatic
immunity for Heads of States.
2. (U) Issues surrounding the accusations of President Ismael
Omar Guelleh's involvement in the alleged murder of French
Judge Bernard Borel in 1995 arose once again due to President
Guelleh's upcoming trip to France to commemorate the 60th
anniversary of Allied landings in Provence in World War II.
An investigation is open in France regarding the Judge's
death at the request of his widow.
3. (U) Lawyers involved in this investigation are said to
want Guelleh to be questioned while in France. The French
Foreign Ministry has issued statements to French and
International press agencies asserting the diplomatic
immunity for President Guelleh during the August 14 - 16th,
commenting that "it is a fundamental principle of
4. (U) The 11 August issue of La Nation, Djibouti's national
paper, ran the statement of French Ambassador to Djibouti,
Philippe Selz, regarding this matter. Selz's statement
reinforced the idea of not commenting on investigations that
are underway and emphasized that documents declassified in
April 2004 did not indicate, nor imply, the involvement of
the Djiboutian Head of State. Selz commented that the
Djiboutian authorities and Department of Justice have given
the French investigators complete cooperation in this matter.
Selz ended his statement with a rebuttal aimed at comments
heard on a French radio station that France will be
embarrassed to have invited President Guelleh saying, "France
will be honored by the presence of President Guelleh at the
15th of August ceremonies."