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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
08USUNNEWYORK382 2008-04-29 15:24:00 UNCLASSIFIED USUN New York
Cable title:  

BULGARIAN MISSION DEMANDS CRIMINAL CHARGES AGAINST

Tags:   OFDP PREL BU UN 
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VZCZCXYZ0005
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUCNDT #0382/01 1201524
ZNY EEEEE ZZH
R 291524Z APR 08
FM USMISSION USUN NEW YORK
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4181
INFO RUEHSF/AMEMBASSY SOFIA 1264
					  UNCLAS USUN NEW YORK 000382 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR IO/UNP AND L/DL

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OFDP PREL BU UN
SUBJECT: BULGARIAN MISSION DEMANDS CRIMINAL CHARGES AGAINST
MISSION CHEF BE WITHDRAWN



1. This message in unclassified but sensitive - please
protect accordingly.



2. This is an action message for the Department - please see
paragraph 3.



3. USUN has received a diplomatic note from the Bulgarian
Mission regarding an incident during which Tsvetan Vasilev,
the Mission's Chef, was accused of "forcible touching" of a
female in the afternoon of April 21. Vasilev was arrested
and ordered to appear in court on May 19 to answer the
charges. The Bulgarians demand that the arrest be declared
void in that Vasilev "has immunity as per Article 27 of the
Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations" and "was in the
course of performing his official duties" when "the supposed
incident" occurred. USUN requests guidance for a formal
reply to the Bulgarian note, text of which follows in
paragraph 4.



4. Begin text of Bulgarian note #1778 dated April 24, 2008:
The Permanent Mission of the Republic of Bulgaria to the
United Nations presents its compliments to the Host Country
Affairs Section, United States Mission to the United Nations
and would like to inform of an incident with a member of
staff of the Mission of Bulgaria as follows:

On April 21, 2008, at 13:17 hrs. Mr. Tsvetan Vasilev,
Member of Staff of the Permanent Mission of Bulgaria to the
UN, having the responsibilities of Chef with the Mission, was
arrested at a Starbucks coffee shop, located at First Avenue
and 85th Street, New York City. At the time of his arrest
Mr. Vasilev was in the course of performing official duties -
namely he was sent to buy coffee and ingredients for the
preparation of a dessert for an official function later that
same day.

Mr. Vasilev has just a basic knowledge of English and
did not understand what the reason for the arrest or the
charges against him were. However, he cooperated with the
police and did not resist or hamper the police officers in
any way.

The officers at the 19th Police Precinct telephoned the
Bulgarian Mission and when diplomats from the Mission as well
as the Consul arrived they were informed that the charge
against Mr. Vasilev was "forcible touching" of an unknown
female, which incident supposedly happened in the street when
Mr. Vasilev walked past the said unnamed female on his way to
the Starbucks coffee shop. The diplomats were told that as
Mr. Vasilev did not understand English they had not heard his
explanation of the incident, nor did they request such,
although the Mission could have provided an interpreter if so
requested.

Mr. Vasilev was released in a few hours, after having
his fingerprints taken and after signing a Police Desk
Appearance Ticket, according to which he "is summoned to
appear at a Criminal Court to answer a criminal charge made
against him" on May 19th, 2008.

Mr. Vasilev expressed his surprise at his arrest to the
Bulgarian consul and has denied any "forcible touching" or
sexual abuse of any kind on his part. He only remembers
bumping into a woman and her friend in a tight space on a
sidewalk temporarily closed due to construction work, for
which he apologized and walked on.

In view of all the above circumstances, Permanent
Mission of the Republic of Bulgaria to the United Nations
expresses its position that Mr. Vasilev was wrongfully
arrested and summoned to appear before a criminal court, as
at the time of the supposed incident he was in the course of
performing his official duties.

Mr. Vasilev, as a Member of Staff of the Bulgarian
Mission, has immunity as per Article 37 of the Vienna
Convention on Diplomatic Relations. Accordingly, the
Permanent Mission of the Republic of Bulgaria to the United
Nations demands that his arrest be declared void as well as
all consequences stemming from it, including the summons to
appear before a Criminal Court in New York.

The Permanent Mission of the Republic of Bulgaria to the
United Nations avails itself of this opportunity to renew to
the Host Country Affairs Section, United States Mission to
the United Nations the assurances of its highest
consideration. End Text.


Khalilzad