05BAGHDAD5083 / 2005-12-21 15:05:00
Embassy Baghdad
                S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 02 BAGHDAD 005083 
 
SIPDIS 
 
NOFORN 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/20/2015 
TAGS: MOPS, PHUM, PGOV, KJUS, IZ, RO, Detainees, Human Rights 
SUBJECT: UPDATE ON MOHAMMED MUNAF CASE 
 
REF: A. BAGHDAD 4671 
     B. BAGHDAD 3010 
     C. BUCHAREST 2348 
 
Classified By: Classified by Acting Deputy Chief of Mission 
David C. Litt for Reasons 1.4 (b) and (d). 
 
1. (S/NF) On December 9, Florin Razvan Radu, Director 
for International Law, Judicial Cooperation, and 
Foreign Legal Affairs at the Romanian Ministry of 
Justice contacted Pol-MilOff by e-mail to request the 
video appearance of Iraqi-American national Mohammed 
Munaf, held by the USG in Iraq as a security internee 
and wanted on criminal Charges by the Central Criminal 
Court of Iraq (CCCI) as a criminal defendant in 
Romanian court. Mr. Radu also requested the video 
appearance of six Iraqi nationals not held by the USG. 
 
2.  (S/NF) Pol-MilOff explained by telephone that the 
CCCI had agreed to Mr. Munaf's video testimony in 
Romanian court as a witness only (Reftel A), and that 
Mr. Munaf faced criminal charges in Iraqi court. Mr. 
Radan expressed surprise on both counts, and stated to 
Pol-MilOff by e-mail on December 15 that "it is 
essential...to hear Mr. Munaf and according to the 
Romanian Criminal Procedure...he cannot be heard by 
the Romanian Court in this file (where O. Hayssam is a 
co-defendant) as a witness, but only AS A DEFENDANT." 
 
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ACTION REQUEST 
-------------- 
 
3.  (SBU) Post requests that the Department and/or 
Embassy Bucharest re-iterate the following points to 
the GOR: 
 
- It is the position of the USG that the Central 
Criminal Court of Iraq (CCCI) has priority in the 
criminal trial of Mr. Munaf, an Iraqi-American 
accused of committing crimes inside Iraq; 
 
- The CCCI has offered to make Mr. Munaf available as 
a witness via video-link in Romanian court in exchange 
for video witness testimony from four Romanian 
witnesses; 
 
- The CCCI has not given permission for Mr. Munaf's 
video trial as a defendant in Romanian court, and may 
not be willing to do so until or unless Iraqi judicial 
procedures are complete; 
 
- The GOR does not appear to have engaged the USG or 
ITG to date on the CCCI's request for the video 
testimony of four Romanian witnesses; 
 
- The USG does not have the practical or legal ability 
to compel the testimony of the six Iraqi citizens 
whose appearance the GOR also seeks, as none are held 
by MNF-I. 
 
4.  (SBU) In the meantime, Post will refer questions 
from Romanian prosecutors and other GOR officials to 
the Department and/or to Embassy Bucharest. 
 
---------- 
BACKGROUND 
---------- 
 
5.  (S/NF) In March 2005, Post understands that the 
GOR informed Embassy Bucharest that Iraqi-American 
national and former Romanian resident Mohammed Munaf 
had been kidnapped in Iraq with two Romanian 
journalists for whom he was working as an interpreter. 
In May 2005, Munaf and the two journalists were 
rescued; exit interviews indicated that Mr. Munaf was 
involved in the kidnapping, and he was detained by 
MNF-I for imperative reasons of security. 
 
6.  (SBU) At the request of the GOR,  MNF-I provided 
Romanian interviewers access to Mr. Munaf at his place 
of detention in Baghdad in May and September 2005. In 
July 2005, the Central Criminal Court of Iraq (CCCI) 
requested Mr. Munaf's appearance as a witness, and 
indicated that it wished to try Mr. Munaf himself 
under Iraqi law for crimes committed inside Iraq. 
 
7.  (S/NF) In Reftel B, Post recommended that the USG 
follow established DoD procedure regarding AmCit 
detainees held in Iraq - that is, that DoJ be given 
priority to prosecute and that, if DoJ declined, Iraqi 
authorities be offered the same opportunity. On 
September 7, OSD sent a memo to MNF-I concurring with 
this recommendation and instructing MNF-I to permit 
Mr. Munaf's appearance before an Iraqi investigative 
judge. 
 
8.  (S/NF) On September 26, 2005, the GOR issued an 
arrest warrant against Mr. Munaf and delivered this 
warrant, with an extradition request, to Embassy 
Bucharest. (NOTE: Romania has no extradition treaty 
with Iraq; moreover, from a legal standpoint, it is 
not clear what authority the USG might rely upon to 
extradite or transfer to a third country an Iraqi- 
American held inside Iraq and wanted on criminal 
charges by Iraqi authorities. END NOTE.) 
 
9.  (S/NF) Following a re-affirmation of the USG 
position, Embassy Bucharest reported in Reftel B that 
President Traian Basescu informed Embassy Bucharest on 
November 11 that Romania accepted the U.S. decision to 
give Iraq legal custody over Munaf. Post then informed 
the Department in Reftel C that the CCCI was willing 
to allow Munaf to video witness testimony in Romanian 
court in exchange for the video testimony of four 
named Romanian witnesses. 
 
10.  (SBU) Mr. Munaf remains in Coalition legal and 
physical custody pending his initial appearance at the 
CCCI as a defendant; the CCCI has delayed his initial 
hearing pending a response from the GOR to the CCCI's 
offer to provide Mr. Munaf as a witness by video-link 
in exchange for the video testimony of key Romanian 
witnesses. At no point has the CCCI agreed to permit 
Mr. Munaf to stand trial as a defendant in Romanian 
court. 
KHALILZAD 

            
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