US embassy cable - 05PARIS174 (original version)

MTAG 04 - 04: DEMARCHE ON FRENCH FIRM'S ASSISTANCE TO PAKISTAN'S MISSILE PROGRAM (S) (original version)

Identifier: 05PARIS174
Wikileaks: View 05PARIS174 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Paris
Created: 2005-01-10 17:42:00
Classification: SECRET//NOFORN
Tags: PARM PREL ETTC HK PK CM GM FR MTCRE
Redacted: This cable was redacted by Wikileaks. [Show redacted version] [Compare redacted and unredacted version]
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 02 PARIS 000174 
 
SIPDIS 
 
NOFORN 
 
FOR NP/CBM, EUR/PRA, EUR/WE 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/10/2025 
TAGS: PARM, PREL, ETTC, HK, PK, CM, GM, FR, MTCRE 
SUBJECT: MTAG 04 - 04:  DEMARCHE ON FRENCH FIRM'S 
ASSISTANCE TO PAKISTAN'S MISSILE PROGRAM (S) 
 
REF: SECSTATE 270425 
 
Classified By: EST Counselor Robert W. Dry for Reasons 1.5 (b) and (d). 
 
1.  (S)  On 30 December 2004, EST officer delivered a 
demarche to French Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) 
Point of Contact (POC) David Bertolotti, MFA Deputy Director 
of Disarmament and Nuclear Non-proliferation, concerning the 
10 December shipment of telemetry equipment from the French 
firm In'Trad to Pakistan, with the possible end-user being 
New Technologies Islamabad, which is associated with 
Pakistan's ballistic missile program.  Prior to the EST 
officer presenting the demarche, Bertolotti asked if the 
issue pertained to a shipment to Pakistan, to which EST 
officer replied in the affirmative.  Bertolotti then noted 
that the issue had been raised in Washington, and that 
British government officials had been actively engaging the 
French.  Following these comments, EST officer then presented 
the demarche. 
 
2.   (S)  In response to the demarche, Bertolotti provided 
EST officer with comprehensive comments on the shipment and 
the reasons behind the Government of France's (GOF) decision 
not to examine its contents and to allow it to continue on to 
Pakistan.  The reasons provided included logistical 
considerations, timing issues, legal concerns, and 
insufficiently precise information.  Bertolotti said that 
while the GOF was fully engaged and concerned about this 
transaction, it was operating within the constraints imposed 
by French law, and that the onus of responsibility rested on 
the British and United States governments to provide more 
specific, actionable information regarding the purportedly 
illegal cooperation between In'Trad and Pakistan's ballistic 
missile program. 
 
3.  (S/NF)  Bertolotti said that a British Embassy officer 
had brought this same matter to his attention on 10 December, 
only hours before the shipment was set to depart Charles de 
Gaulle/Roissy airport for Pakistan.  He added, however, that 
British security representatives in Paris had met with French 
security counterparts earlier in the day and had requested 
French intervention to investigate, and, if appropriate, to 
stop the shipment from departing France.  French POC told EST 
officer that his assumption was that the U.S. Government 
(USG) was acting on the basis of information provided by the 
British government, and was double-tracking the British 
efforts.  Bertolotti claimed that the eleventh-hour 
notification and the non-specific nature of the information 
provided by the British had left the GOF in an untenable 
position.  He then briefed EST officer on the legal and 
logistical hurdles the GOF had to contend with regarding the 
shipment, as well as the broader considerations that went 
into the French decision to allow the shipment to reach 
Pakistan. 
 
4.  (S)  Bertolotti noted that not all telemetry equipment 
was subject to dual-use licensing in France, and that the 
equipment may have, in fact, been legal for export.  He added 
that the 10 December shipment had already cleared customs, 
and that, short of a direct threat to the safety of the 
flight, GOF customs officials had no legal authority to seize 
and then search the shipment.  Bertolotti added that the 
imprecise nature of the information provided by British 
government officials supporting their concerns had made it 
all the more difficult for the French to take direct action. 
Bertolotti further remarked that, from a logistical 
standpoint, the request for seizure of the shipment had 
presented obstacles.  Primary among these was the fact that 
the physical location of the shipment was unknown, and that 
it could have been stored in one of twenty customs storage 
facilities at the airport.  Bertolotti also noted that a 
similar shipment of telemetry equipment from In'Trad to the 
Pakistani National Development Complex (NDC) had been 
investigated and then cleared for delivery to Pakistan by 
British Customs officials at a London area airport on 04 
April. 
 
5.  (S)  Regarding plans for future French action and 
monitoring of In'Trad, Bertolotti informed EST officer that 
French authorities had contacted the director of the 
four-employee In'Trad firm, and that he had adamantly denied 
that the telemetry equipment shipped had been prohibited for 
export, and insisted that the firm was involved only in 
completely legitimate transactions. These denials 
notwithstanding, the GOF had, as of 11 December, begun to 
monitor the activities of this company more closely and was 
prepared to check all future exports from it.  Bertolotti 
added that, starting sometime in early 2005, the GOF was 
planning to begin an official, interagency investigation into 
the company, but added that this was a formal process and 
often took months to complete. 
6.  (S/NF)  Finally, Bertolotti noted that the GOF wanted to 
be more helpful regarding the suspect cooperation between 
In'Trad and Pakistani missile entities, and to implement the 
necessary action against In'Trad if the firm was, in fact, 
complicit in shipping prohibited equipment for use in 
Pakistan's ballistic missile program.  He added, however, 
that in order to take focused, legal action against In'Trad, 
the GOF needed more precise information regarding the type of 
equipment being exported, as well as clearer indications that 
the end-users were associated with Pakistan's ballistic 
missile program.  He then informed EST officer that French 
security services had already requested more specific 
information from their British security counterparts linking 
In'Trad to the NDC, but had not yet received any such 
information.  Bertolotti then queried EST officer if he knew 
whether the USG was basing its suspicions of In'Trad solely 
on information provided to it by the British government, or 
if it was acting in part on corroborating information 
obtained independently of the British.  EST officer replied 
he was not privy to the sourcing of the information regarding 
In'Trad, but would raise the issue with Washington. 
Bertolotti then requested that the EST officer pass on the 
GOF request for the USG to provide additional, more precise 
information that would aid the GOF in its investigation of 
In'Trad.  EST officer replied that he would raise this 
request with Washington.  EST officer said that the USG in 
any event would appreciate French government investigation 
and enhanced watchfulness of In'Trad 
Leach 

Latest source of this page is cablebrowser-2, released 2011-10-04