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Viewing cable 07BERLIN242, AL-MASRI CASE -- CHANCELLERY AWARE OF USG CONCERNS

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07BERLIN242 2007-02-06 17:05 2010-11-28 18:06 SECRET//NOFORN Embassy Berlin
VZCZCXYZ0015
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHRL #0242 0371748
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
O 061748Z FEB 07
FM AMEMBASSY BERLIN
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6940
S E C R E T BERLIN 000242 
 
SIPDIS 
 
NOFORN 
SIPDIS 
 
FOR S/ES-O, EUR AND L 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/06/2017 
TAGS: KJUS PTER PREL PGOV GM
SUBJECT: AL-MASRI CASE -- CHANCELLERY AWARE OF USG CONCERNS 
 
REF: A. BERLIN 230 
 
     B. BERLIN 200 
 
Classified By: DCM John M. Koenig for Reasons 1.4 (b) and (d) 
 
1.  (S/NF) In a February 6 discussion with German Deputy 
National Security Adviser Rolf Nikel, the DCM reiterated our 
strong concerns about the possible issuance of international 
arrest warrants in the al-Masri case.  The DCM noted that the 
reports in the German media of the discussion on the issue 
between the Secretary and FM Steinmeier in Washington were 
not accurate, in that the media reports suggest the USG was 
not troubled by developments in the al-Masri case.  The DCM 
emphasized that this was not the case and that issuance of 
international arrest warrants would have a negative impact on 
our bilateral relationship.  He reminded Nikel of the 
repercussions to U.S.-Italian bilateral relations in the wake 
of a similar move by Italian authorities last year. 
 
2.  (S/NF) The DCM pointed out that our intention was not to 
threaten Germany, but rather to urge that the German 
Government weigh carefully at every step of the way the 
implications for relations with the U.S.  We of course 
recognized the independence of the German judiciary, but 
noted that a decision to issue international arrest warrants 
or extradition requests would require the concurrence of the 
German Federal Government, specifically the MFA and the 
Ministry of Justice (MOJ).  The DCM said our initial 
indications had been that the German federal authorities 
would not allow the warrants to be issued, but that 
subsequent contacts led us to believe this was not the case. 
 
3.  (S/NF) Nikel also underscored the independence of the 
German judiciary, but confirmed that the MFA and MOJ would 
have a procedural role to play.  He said the case was subject 
to political, as well as judicial, scrutiny.  From a judicial 
standpoint, the facts are clear, and the Munich prosecutor 
has acted correctly.  Politically speaking, said Nikel, 
Germany would have to examine the implications for relations 
with the U.S.  At the same time, he noted our political 
differences about how the global war on terrorism should be 
waged, for example on the appropriateness of the Guantanamo 
facility and the alleged use of renditions. 
 
4.  (S/NF) Nikel also cited intense pressure from the 
Bundestag and the German media.  The German federal 
Government must consider the "entire political context," said 
Nikel.  He assured the DCM that the Chancellery is well aware 
of the bilateral political implications of the case, but 
added that this case "will not be easy."  The Chancellery 
would nonetheless try to be as constructive as possible. 
 
5.  (S/NF) The DCM pointed out that the USG would likewise 
have a difficult time in managing domestic political 
implications if international arrest warrants are issued.  He 
reiterated our concerns and expressed the hope that the 
Chancellery would keep us informed of further developments in 
the case, so as to avoid surprises.  Nikel undertook to do 
so, but reiterated that he could not, at this point "promise 
that everything will turn out well." 
TIMKEN JR