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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
06BRIDGETOWN1072
2006-06-22 11:48:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Bridgetown
Cable title:  

DOMINICA DROPS DIPLOMATIC CASE AGAINST SWITZERLAND

Tags:   AORC  CPAS  OFDP  PGOV  PINR  PREL  KCRM  DO  SZ  XL 
pdf how-to read a cable
VZCZCXYZ0013
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHWN #1072/01 1731148
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 221148Z JUN 06
FM AMEMBASSY BRIDGETOWN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2770
INFO RUCNCOM/EC CARICOM COLLECTIVE
RUEHSW/AMEMBASSY BERN 0098
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 0241
RUEHCV/USDAO CARACAS VE
RUMIAAA/HQ USSOUTHCOM J2 MIAMI FL
RUMIAAA/HQ USSOUTHCOM J5 MIAMI FL
						C O N F I D E N T I A L BRIDGETOWN 001072 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

SOUTHCOM ALSO FOR POLAD

E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/20/2016
TAGS: AORC CPAS OFDP PGOV PINR PREL KCRM DO SZ XL
SUBJECT: DOMINICA DROPS DIPLOMATIC CASE AGAINST SWITZERLAND

REF: BRIDGETOWN 875

Classified By: DCM Mary Ellen T. Gilroy for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).

C O N F I D E N T I A L BRIDGETOWN 001072

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

SOUTHCOM ALSO FOR POLAD

E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/20/2016
TAGS: AORC CPAS OFDP PGOV PINR PREL KCRM DO SZ XL
SUBJECT: DOMINICA DROPS DIPLOMATIC CASE AGAINST SWITZERLAND

REF: BRIDGETOWN 875

Classified By: DCM Mary Ellen T. Gilroy for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).


1. (C) Summary: Dominica has dropped the case it brought
against Switzerland at the International Court of Justice,
choosing not to pursue the matter of a questionable
"diplomat" who had been stripped of his diplomatic status.
The Government of the Commonwealth of Dominica (GCOD)
withdrew in May its complaint that the Swiss had wrongly
revoked the diplomatic credentials of Russian-born
businessman Roman Lakschin, who had obtained Dominica
citizenship through the Caribbean island state's economic
citizenship program and was subsequently named Dominica's
representative to the UN in Geneva. The GCOD's failure to
offer any reason for withdrawing the case supports the
supposition that a high-level official pursued the matter on
Lakschin's behalf, suggesting the possibility of corruption.
End summary.

--------------
Dominica Withdraws Case
--------------


2. (U) Dominica formally withdrew in May its case against
Switzerland at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) that
had charged the Swiss with violating the Vienna Convention on
Diplomatic Relations for revoking the diplomatic status of
Dominica's representative to the UN in Geneva (reftel). The
individual in question, Russian-born Roman Lakschin, had
obtained Dominica citizenship in the 1990s through the
country's economic citizenship program and was subsequently
named a diplomatic representative. The Swiss Government
charged that Lakschin was not a diplomat but a businessman
and revoked his diplomatic status in 1997 and, after Dominica
reappointed him, revoked it again in 1998. The GCOD did not
challenge the Swiss action until it brought the current case
to the ICJ in 2006. Roman Lakschin reportedly sought to
regain his diplomatic status in Switzerland as a means to
avoid a recent lawsuit.


3. (C) Shortly after filing its case against Switzerland on
April 26, the GCOD announced that it would delay further
legal action until it could investigate the Lakschin matter.
This led to speculation in the press that a high-level
Dominica official, perhaps Minister of Foreign Affairs
Charles Savarin, had agreed to file the case after meeting
with Lakschin. (Note: MFA Permanent Secretary Steve Ferrol
offered vague confirmation of this version of events during a
conversation with Poloff, although the PermSec did not name
the Foreign Minister nor did he appear to know the full
story. End note.)

--------------
Outside Pressure to Support "Diplomat"
--------------


4. (C) Dominica informed the ICJ on May 24 that it wished to
withdraw its case against Switzerland. This was done without
any public announcement by the GCOD, its action coming to
light only after the court issued a press release on June 12.
The same day, a typically well-informed Dominica-related
website (http://thedominican.net/) posted an account of the
matter as provided by Detter Frankopan, an international
jurist who brought the case to the ICJ on behalf of Dominica.
The attorney said that had she known all of the "facts"
regarding Roman Lakschin she would have advised the GCOD
against filing the case. Frankopan claimed there was
"considerable outside pressure on herself and on the
Government to follow instructions," according to the website.
(Note: The MFA PermSec understands that Frankopan may
actually have been retained by Lakschin. End note.)

--------------
Pressure on Whom?
--------------


5. (C) Comment: The convoluted circumstances surrounding
Dominica's case against Switzerland suggest that Roman
Lakschin used a degree of influence, perhaps a bribe, to have
the GCOD support his attempt to regain diplomatic status.
Such an occurrence would not be surprising considering the
various accusations made against Dominica for the less than
stellar manner in which it has named diplomats or managed its
economic citizenship program. Unfortunately, Dominica and
other small Caribbean states remain corruptible as long as
government officials look to questionable means to raise
money for their meager state coffers or even for themselves.
End comment.
KRAMER