|05BRATISLAVA265||2005-03-30 14:47:00||CONFIDENTIAL||Embassy Bratislava|
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
C O N F I D E N T I A L BRATISLAVA 000265
1. (C) Summary: Emboffs continue to press Slovak officials
for a reaction to the draft bilateral extradition treaty we
gave them in December 2004. Nonetheless, the GOS still has
not made a definitive decision on whether to commit to
extradite Slovak nationals to the U.S. On March 30, Justice
Minister Daniel Lipsic told Charge d'Affaires he would look
at the text, discuss it with his staff, and raise the issue
at the cabinet meeting the week of April 4. End summary.
2. (C) Polec chief met March 21 with MOJ Director for
Judicial Cooperation Branislav Bohacik to learn the likely
GOS response to the U.S. proposed text for a new bilateral
extradition treaty. She emphasized the need for a signal on
GOS willingness to extradite nationals to the U.S. before the
April 15 negotiations in Brussels. Bohacik said the current
wording of Article 3, "Extradition shall not be refused based
on the nationality of the person sought," would not be
acceptable to members of Parliament who would eventually have
to ratify the treaty. Therefore, the MOJ wanted to propose
language to make Article 3 "more flexible."
3. (C) Polec chief asked whether extradition of Slovak
nationals to the U.S. had been discussed in the cabinet or
among the four political parties in the governing coalition,
since it was obviously a question of political will. Bohacik
said that the draft text has been shared at the working
levels in the Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Foreign
Affairs, General Prosecutor's Office (this is an independent
entity and is not under the MOJ's control), and Ministry of
Interior. He said that the cabinet should approve a mandate
for this group to negotiate the treaty at the beginning of
April, but that so far there had been no discussions "at the
4. (C) Bohacik's statements aside, emboffs have been engaging
ministers and politicians on the extradition issue for
several months. Before he departed post, the former
Ambassador raised extradition of Slovak nationals with the
ministers of foreign affairs and justice. Charge d'Affaires
has continued to discuss it, most recently with both Foreign
Minister Kukan and Prime Minister Dzurinda's advisor Milan
Jezovica the week of March 21. Polec chief has raised the
issue in conversations with politicians from governing
parties. None has reacted with an immediate "no." On the
other hand, we still don't have a definitive "yes." In the
meantime, GOS legal experts are analyzing the text without a
political mandate to proceed.
5. (C) Charge d'Affaires talked to Justice Minister Lipsic
March 30 to once again stress the need for a decision on
Article 3 before the scheduled April 15 talks on extradition
and mutual legal assistance in Brussels. Lipsic promised to
look at the draft treaty, discuss it with his staff, and
raise the issue at the cabinet meeting the week of April 4.
6. (C) Despite his continued reservations about Article 3,
Bohacik insisted the GOS wanted a full bilateral extradition
treaty and a full bilateral mutual legal assistance treaty.
He said we should not let the opportunity pass to have legal
arrangements in place to guarantee our cooperation for the
next 50 years. Polec chief explained that without an
agreement to extradite nationals from the Slovak side, we
would instead sign only a bilateral instrument to the U.S.-EU
extradition agreement. In addition, we did not have the
resources to work on a full MLAT with Slovakia at this time.
Bohacik responded that Slovakia would be willing to provide a
draft MLAT text for the U.S. to consider.
7. (C) Bohacik shared his thoughts on several other aspects
of the draft treaty, which the U.S. may need to consider
should the two sides proceed to negotiate. (Note: These are
only his initial reactions and do not include comments from
the other ministries studying the text.)
The Title: Treaties are not agreements between governments,
but countries. Slovakia would want the title to be
"Extradition Treaty Between the United States of America and
the Slovak Republic."
Article 5.2: Bohacik had some concerns. For example, if the
Slovak President were to grant amnesty to an individual for a
certain crime, Slovakia would not agree to extradite that
individual for prosecution elsewhere.
Article 6: Regarding lapse of time, Slovakia would not
violate its own laws on statute of limitations.
Article 7: The language should be changed to make clear the
fact that Slovakia does not apply the death penalty.
Article 8.1: Bohacik said that Slovakia would prefer not to
limit requests exclusively to diplomatic channels. He
suggested language along the lines of standard EU provisions
calling for communication between "central authorities,
diplomatic channels not excluded." This would allow
flexibility for faster action should it be warranted.
Article 8.3.a: Slovak law requires original documents or
Article 8.4.a. See comment on Article 8.3.a. A statement by
the judicial authority would not be sufficient; Slovakia
would need a certified copy of conviction.
Article 8.5: Fill in the blank with Ministry of Justice.
Again, Bohacik advocated allowing for direct exchange of the
original request between U.S. DOJ and Slovak MOJ, as well as
the aditional documentation.
Article 9: Slovak ministries don't have seals.
Article 11.1: Bohacik agreed with requests for provisional
arrest directly through DOJ-MOJ channels.
Article 11.4: The language may have to be changed slightly.
Slovak law allows for 18 days provisional arrest and 40 days
custody pending extradition.
Article 12.2: Bohacik expressed some reluctance about
providing explanations for denial in every case, but was
vague in his reasoning.
Article 14.2 and 14.3: Requests for extradition made by
several states are governed by EU rules.
Article 19.1: As explained above, the General Prosecutor's
office operates independently from the Ministry of Justice.
The GOS will need to clarify internal procedures.