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04DJIBOUTI1372 2004-10-27 05:00:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Djibouti
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					UNCLAS DJIBOUTI 001372 



E.O. 12958: N/A

1. (U) Summary: French magistrate Bernard Borrel, found
dead 80 Km north of Djibouti in 1995, has surfaced once
again in the national media. The Court of Versailles in
Paris summoned (for September 30th, 2004) Procureur de la
Republique (Attorney General of Djibouti), Djama
Souleiman, to present himself before the examining French
magistrate to respond to a complaint entered by the widow
of Bernard Borrel. For over ten years the case has
remained open amid Mrs. Borrel's claims that members of
the Government of Djibouti assassinated her husband
because he discovered incriminating information regarding
the 1990 bombing of the Caf de Paris in Djibouti City.
Souleiman did not feel obligated to answer the summons
from the French judge because, he said, "Djibouti is an
independent and sovereign country." End summary.

2. (U) The government run newspaper, La Nation, ran the
transcript of an (October 4th, 2004) interview with
Procurer de la Republique, Djama Souleiman, regarding the
summons by French magistrates to appear in court for
testimony in the ongoing Borrel case. Djibouti's Attorney
General, Djama Souleiman, was called (for Sept.30th) to
testify in France before the examining judge in the case
of the apparent murder of Judge Bernard Borrel in
Djibouti in 1995. The widow of the deceased brought the
case to the French courts after a joint Djiboutian-French
tribunal ruled the cause of death could not be
determined. Borrel's widow holds the belief that members
of the Djiboutian Government assassinated her husband.
When questioned as to why he did not respond to the
judge's request, Souleiman said, "French magistrates
forget easily that Djibouti is an independent and
sovereign country. They still think that Djibouti is a
French territory. There is a judicial agreement between
Djibouti and France since September 27th 1986 and that if
they want to call me, they have to go through that
procedure". He highlighted that each country must respect
the legal procedures of that agreement.

3. (U) On the issue of whether the media's actions in the
Borrel affair would damage the case, Souleiman commented
that the wife of Judge Borrel has decided to believe in
the assassination thesis although it is a suicide. On the
other hand, Mr. Souleiman pointed the finger to the
lawyer of Mrs. Borell, whom in his opinion "has with
racist condescension created an imaginary country where
anything can happen." He continued, "These racist
attitudes find some echoes in certain media's treatment
of Africa and Africans with contempt."

4. (U) The approach of Djibouti's next presidential
election and the sensationalist media coverage of this
case is linked, according to Souleiman who stated the
goal of Mrs. Borrel and her lawyers is to destabilize
Djibouti. He continued to say, "they will have no
influence," and admonished the French justice to stay

5. (U) The question regarding the effect on the relations
between France and Djibouti elicited a positive answer
from Souleiman. He stated that the official reactions of
the French government and the "warlike declarations" of
Mrs. Borell have to be dissociated. In response to the
query of how effective the judicial cooperation had been
between the two countries, Souleiman concluded that
during the last ten years Djibouti had done everything
possible to satisfy the French justices. He said, "I know
of no place in the world that would open the doors of its
presidency to a foreign institution for investigations
purposes. We did that. Cooperation in all fields to be
effective must have some reciprocity".

6. (SBU) Comment: In the past after the French media has
brought up the Borrel affair, the Djiboutian national
media runs stories against France. This occasion the
government media sources in Djibouti were silent. There
are two thoughts as to why the government has not
responded in the usual manner. First, the French Minister
of Justice was heard the next day in Radio France
International (French official radio broadcasted
worldwide) and highlighted the obligation of presumption
of innocence and admonished the judges not to hurry in
any conclusions. Second, the joint statement issued
recently from the French Defense and Foreign Affairs
ministries was released clarifying their respective
positions towards Djibouti and this case. This statement
seemed to satisfy Djibouti officials. Embassy lawyer
Alain Martinet was also called to testify and did agree
to the request of the French courts.