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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
07FREETOWN615 2007-10-11 16:19:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Freetown
Cable title:  

SIERRA LEONE SPECIAL COURT SEEKING MORE MONEY AND

Tags:   KAWC KDEM PHUM PINR PREL SL 
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1. (C) Summary and action request: In a meeting with
Ambassador and emboffs on October 10, Prosecutor for the
Special Court for Sierra Leone, Stephen Rapp, reviewed the
budget and timeline for the Special Court. Rapp expects that
the court will require at least an additional $49 million to
continue its work through 2009, but he added that at the
current rate of progress the court may have to continue its
work into 2010. His projections are that the total cost of
the Court will be in the range of $200 million to prosecute
13 indictees during an eight year period. Rapp explained that
he has been in contact with a number of donor governments to
seek additional contributions for the court. He suggested
that the U.S. government could contact other donor
governments. The Ambassador stressed that it is important to
show progress in the work of the Court. Embassy suggests the
Department continue efforts to coordinate with other donors
to identify funding for the Court's work, while recognizing
the need to encourage the Court to wrap up its work in a
timely manner. End summary.



2. (C) On October 10, Ambassador Perry, DCM and poloff met
with Stephen Rapp, Prosecutor for the Special Court for
Sierra Leone, and Jeremy Waiser, Special Assistant to the
Prosecutor. Rapp provided an overview of the work of the
court and its current funding needs. He explained that since
its establishment in 2002, the Court has indicted 13
individuals, and tried 10 cases. (Two individuals died in
custody, and one has yet to be located.) Rapp noted that the
work of the Court has been slower than some had hoped, and
explained that turnover of personnel and health problems had
played a part in this. In some cases, the entire prosecution
team had turned over between the commencement of the case and
the conclusion. Rapp explained that some recent actions may
help to speed the work of the Court, notably since last month
Judges on the Appeals Court are working full time rather than
part time.



3. (C) Ambassador Perry said that while there is widespread
goodwill of the Court in the U.S. and support on the Hill, it
is important to demonstrate that progress is being made.
Budget limitations meant that funding for the court comes at
the expense of other programs in Sierra Leone and Africa. It
appears that 40 per cent of the funding for the Court has
come from the U.S.

4.(C) Addressing the question of financing the work of the
court, Rapp provided a copy of the Court's completion budget
summary (Copy will be emailed to AF/W). Projections in
summary are that the court will need $36 million in 2007, $33
million in 2008 and $20 million in 2009. Of this total
requirement of $89 million, donors have provided about $40
million (including a recent US contribution of $13 million),
but $49 million is still needed. Rapp allowed that at the
current rate of work, the Court may have to continue into


2010.



5. (C) The Prosecutor said that he has been meeting with
donor governments, including the French, Danes, Norwegians
and others in an effort to secure more funding. He had been
hopeful that the new French government would be more
forthcoming, but it appears France will contribute only Euros
500,000. The Danish government had responded that it would
like to move on to other projects, but Rapp is hopeful of
getting an increased contribution. In meeting with the German
government, Rapp said that he had argued that now that Japan
has joined the ICC, Germany could divert some of its spending
on international justice to the Sierra Leone Court. The
Prosecutor said he would like to get more cooperation from
African countries including Nigeria, and mentioned that he
was open to the idea of using assets recovered from Charles
Taylor to cover costs of Taylor's defense or to compensate
victims. Rapp suggested it would be helpful to have the U.S.
continue to coordinate and work with other partners to fund
the Court.



6. (C) The Prosecutor said that the Charles Taylor case is
likely to run into 2010, given that 12 to 18 months will be
needed to present evidence and that appeals are likely after

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that. He noted that the cost of Taylor's defense is costing
about $100,000 per month. Rapp justified the cost of the
court by noting that public perceptions of the Court is very
positive in Sierra Leone. He admitted that the court is seen
less favorably in Liberia, and observed that among the donor
community, "those who know the Court the best are often the
most critical."



7. (C) Comment: Embassy believes that coordination with other
donors has merit, and such coordination offers an opportunity
to present the Court with a unified message that the Court
should wrap up its work in a timely manner, limiting
expenditures where possible. End comment.

PERRY