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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
09STATE50885 2009-05-18 22:13:00 UNCLASSIFIED Secretary of State
Cable title:  

DEMARCHE: EGYPTIAN PROSECUTION SUSPECTED M/V

Tags:   ECON EWWT KCRM MARR PBTS PGOV PHSA PREL 
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VZCZCXYZ0000
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHC #0885 1382227
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 182213Z MAY 09
FM SECSTATE WASHDC
TO RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO 0000
INFO RUEHTH/AMEMBASSY ATHENS 0000
RUEHBM/AMEMBASSY BUCHAREST 0000
RUEHDJ/AMEMBASSY DJIBOUTI 0000
					  UNCLAS STATE 050885 

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON EWWT KCRM MARR PBTS PGOV PHSA PREL
SUBJECT: DEMARCHE: EGYPTIAN PROSECUTION SUSPECTED M/V
AMIRA PIRATES

SUMMARY
----------------



1. Department requests that Embassy approach the Government
of Egypt (GOE) at the earliest possible opportunity to gauge
GOE,s willingness to accept for prosecution 17 suspected
pirates, currently in the custody of the U.S. Navy, for the
piratical attack on May 13 of the Egyptian-flagged,
Egyptian-owned, and Egyptian-crewed bulk carrier M/V AMIRA.

OBJECTIVES


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





2. Post should outline to GOE the significant connections
between Egypt and the M/V AMIRA and inquire whether Egypt is
interested in exercising jurisdiction over the suspects
currently in custody aboard the USS GETTYSBURG. Post should
attempt to gauge Egypt,s level of interest (including
jurisdiction under current Egyptian law) regarding
prosecution of suspects and whether Egypt is interested in
working with the United States to resolve this matter in a
manner that ensures that the suspects are brought to justice,
while being treated humanely.



3. If Egypt expresses interest in exercising jurisdiction,
post should not/not make any commitment to transfer the
suspects from US to Egyptian custody. Rather, post should
express appreciation for Egypt,s willingness to work with
the United States on this matter and note that we will be in
communication shortly regarding further details on how we
might be able to arrange for the transfer of custody on
mutually acceptable terms.



4. In the event that Egypt does not express interest in
exercising jurisdiction, post should inquire as to the
reasons why Egypt is unwilling or unable to exercise
jurisdiction in this case, emphasize the importance of shared
responsibility in the international community,s response to
the problem of piracy, and reiterate the USG view that
affected states should, where possible, prosecute suspected
pirates that attack their interests.

REPORTING DEADLINE


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





5. Post should report results of the demarche by cable and
by email by May 21 to PM/PPA Donna Hopkins,
hopkinsdl@state.sgov.gov, 202-647-0792.

BACKGROUND


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





6. USS GETTYSBURG is holding 17 suspected pirates seized
from the attempted pirating on May 13 of the
Egyptian-flagged, Egyptian-owned bulk carrier M/V AMIRA,
which had on board 20 Egyptian and 1 Romanian crewmembers and
3 UK security guards. M/V AMIRA was attacked in
international waters by men in a skiff operating from a
mother ship, reportedly registered in Puntland, Somalia.
The 17 suspects, all of whom are believed to be Somali, were
taken from both the mother ship and the skiff. The embarked
U.S. Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment aboard GETTYSBURG
reports a strong evidentiary case for prosecution, including
witness statements, video, photographs, seized vessels,
weapons, ammunition, and boarding paraphernalia.



7. The United States believes that states affected by piracy
have a responsibility to prosecute suspected pirates in their
domestic courts. Several countries have interests in the
case (Egypt, Greece, Romania, and UK), but because of
Egypt,s strong nexus to the piratical attempt (Egyptian
registry and ownership and 20 of 21 crew members of Egyptian
nationality), the United States wants to gauge the GOE,s
interest in prosecuting the 17 suspects in Egyptian court.
If the GOE agrees to explore exercising jurisdiction, then as
part of our negotiations on the terms fo the transfer, we
will have to receive credible written assurances from the GOE
that the suspect(s) will not be subject to torture or
inhumane treatment. We will provide specific guidance on
that subject at that time.

REPORTING DEADLINE


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





5. Post should report results of the demarche by cable and
by email by May 21 to PM/PPA Donna Hopkins,
hopkinsdl@state.sgov.gov, 202-647-0792.

BACKGROUND


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





6. USS GETTYSBURG is holding 17 suspected pirates seized
from the attempted pirating on May 13 of the
Egyptian-flagged, Egyptian-owned bulk carrier M/V AMIRA,
which had on board 20 Egyptian and 1 Romanian crewmembers and
3 UK security guards. M/V AMIRA was attacked in
international waters by men in a skiff operating from a
mother ship, reportedly registered in Puntland, Somalia.
The 17 suspects, all of whom are believed to be Somali, were
taken from both the mother ship and the skiff. The embarked
U.S. Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment aboard GETTYSBURG
reports a strong evidentiary case for prosecution, including
witness statements, video, photographs, seized vessels,
weapons, ammunition, and boarding paraphernalia.



7. The United States believes that states affected by piracy
have a responsibility to prosecute suspected pirates in their
domestic courts. Several countries have interests in the
case (Egypt, Greece, Romania, and UK), but because of
Egypt,s strong nexus to the piratical attempt (Egyptian
registry and ownership and 20 of 21 crew members of Egyptian
nationality), the United States wants to gauge the GOE,s
interest in prosecuting the 17 suspects in Egyptian court.
If the GOE agrees to explore exercising jurisdiction, then as
part of our negotiations on the terms of the transfer, we
will have to receive credible written assurances from the GOE
that the suspect(s) will not be subject to torture or
inhumane treatment. We will provide specific guidance on
that subject at that time.
CLINTON