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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
08BEIRUT1451
2008-10-07 17:21:00
SECRET//NOFORN
Embassy Beirut
Cable title:  

LEBANON: UNIIIC COMMISSIONER HAPPY WITH USG

Tags:   PREL  PGOV  PTER  PINR  UNSC  SY  LE 
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VZCZCXRO0459
PP RUEHAG RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHKUK RUEHROV
DE RUEHLB #1451/01 2811721
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
P 071721Z OCT 08
FM AMEMBASSY BEIRUT
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3229
INFO RUEHEE/ARAB LEAGUE COLLECTIVE
RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 3006
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 3217
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC
						S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 02 BEIRUT 001451 

SIPDIS
NOFORN

DEPT FOR NEA/FO, NEA/ELA
ALSO FOR IO ACTING A/S HOOK, PDAS WARLICK
P FOR DRUSSELL AND RRANGASWAMY
USUN FOR KHALILZAD/WOLFF/SCHEDLBAUER
NSC FOR ABRAMS/RAMCHAND/YERGER/MCDERMOTT

E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/05/2018
TAGS: PREL PGOV PTER PINR UNSC SY LE
SUBJECT: LEBANON: UNIIIC COMMISSIONER HAPPY WITH USG
ASSISTANCE BUT SEEKS TWO CRIMINAL ANALYSTS

REF: BEIRUT 1348

Classified By: Ambassador Michele J. Sison for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).



1. (SBU) This is an action request. See paragraph 10.

SUMMARY


--------------------------





2. (S/NF) In an October 3 meeting with the Ambassador, Daniel
Bellemare, Commissioner of the UN Independent Investigative
Commission (UNIIIC), was generally pleased with USG
assistance to date, and repeated a single request: that the
USG loan two criminal analysts who would work out of The
Hague (reftel). He expressed his flexibility to make this
work, stressing that these analysts were his priority.
Noting that UNIIIC's mandate will expire at the end of the
year, he said the investigation component will not stop. He
was feeling the deadline pressure, but remarked that the
investigation was moving aggressively. The Special Tribunal
budget is awaiting approval by the Management Committee in
New York, he reported. He did not yet foresee a problem with
approval, but he informed the Ambassador that the UNIIIC
budget was short two to three million dollars and he had
requested approval for a supplementary budget. The FBI would
continue to pay the analysts' salaries, which would be
considered a USG contribution, and UNIIIC would cover travel
and per diem expenses, he suggested. End summary.

INVESTIGATION MOVING ALONG;
TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE


--------------------------





3. (S/NF) The Ambassador, accompanied by LegAtt and PolOff,
met Daniel Bellemare, Commissioner of the UN Independent
Investigative Commission (UNIIIC), at his office in
Monteverde on October 3. A confident Bellemare said he felt
things are bubbling in his investigation and that his
operation was running aggressively like a "police
investigation," while noting that time was running out.
(Note: UNIIIC's mandate will expire on December 31, 2008.
End note.) He expressed a concern about Syria, saying
simply, "We are afraid we may run out of witnesses. Time is
of the essence, but we do not want to strike prematurely."

HAPPY WITH USG ASSISTANCE;
REQUESTS CRIMINAL ANALYSTS


--------------------------





4. (S/NF) LegAtt reported that the USG had responded to
almost all of the outstanding RFAs, but warned that the FBI
may not be able to provide the criminal analysts requested
(reftel). Bellemare inquired what was necessary to make
these individuals available to UNIIIC. Bellemare proposed
that the analysts work out of The Hague, where he said space
was not an issue, on a contract basis. The FBI would
continue to pay the analysts' salaries, which would be
considered a USG contribution, and UNIIIC would cover travel
and per diem expenses, he suggested.



5. (S/NF) Appearing satisfied with USG assistance, Bellemare
said in reference to previous requests for data-mining
analysts, "I would never turn down help. If I have to
prioritize, I need the criminal analysts the most." He said
he hoped for analysts' assistance as soon as possible, to
work until UNIIIC's mandate expires. He inquired whether the
clearance for the new UNIIIC Chief of Investigations, Garry
James Loeppky, was granted for the Intelligence Community
Working Group.



6. (S/NF) While UNIIIC's mandate will expire, he continued,
the investigation will not, implying that he would still need
many of the analysts currently contracted out to UNIIIC. He
noted that he had started contacting organizations to see if
they will agree to transfer their contracted personnel to The
Hague, to which he had received positive responses.
Bellemare said there was a provision in the draft budget for
"internal contractors and secondees."


BEIRUT 00001451 002 OF 002


PRESS REPORT "UNHELPFUL"


--------------------------





7. (S/NF) Addressing the October 1 al-Anwar article
purporting that Bellemare will name 120 suspects in his final
report, Bellemare said he had no idea who or how this story
was concocted. He explained that he had to have his new
spokesperson respond to the press report, though he usually
preferred to remain silent. He suggested that the Ambassador
could be helpful in letting political figures know that these
kinds of articles are unhelpful.



8. (S/NF) He said he had visited President Michel Sleiman and
PM Fouad Siniora in the previous month to convey to them that
his investigation would not be tied to a political timetable.
He added that in the coming two months, UNIIIC investigators
would be more visible as they conduct interviews with
political figures.

AWAITING BUDGET APPROVAL


--------------------------





9. (S/NF) Bellemare said that he had submitted the operating
budget to the Special Tribunal's Management Committee, and
was now awaiting approval. On UNIIIC's budget, he relayed
that currently he was having internal discussions with the
new UN comptroller on a supplementary budget because he
projected that he will be two or three million dollars short.
It was not a problem yet, he said, but he wanted to make the
Ambassador aware in case the amount was not approved. He
said that he may need USG assistance in pushing for the
supplementary budget's approval.

ACTION REQUEST


--------------------------





10. (S/NF) Post requests a response to UNIIIC's request that
the USG loan two criminal analysts to interview witnesses, or
information on what response is given to Bellemare. End
Action Request.
SISON