US embassy cable - 06MOSUL16

NINEWA JUDGES FIRE BACK AT DETRACTORS, BLAME SYSTEM FOR TERRORIST PROBLEMS

Identifier: 06MOSUL16
Wikileaks: View 06MOSUL16 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: REO Mosul
Created: 2006-02-16 18:10:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Tags: PREL PINS PGOV PHUM IZ PINT Judges Terrorism
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 MOSUL 000016 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL:  2/16/2016 
TAGS: PREL, PINS, PGOV, PHUM, IZ, PINT, Judges, Terrorism 
SUBJECT: NINEWA JUDGES FIRE BACK AT DETRACTORS, BLAME SYSTEM FOR 
TERRORIST PROBLEMS 
 
CLASSIFIED BY: Cameron  Munter, PRT Leader, Provincial 
Reconstruction Team Ninewa, State. 
REASON: 1.4 (b), (d) 
 
 
 
------- 
SUMMARY 
------- 
 
1.  (C) Ninewa's judges are having difficulty with the public's 
negative perception of their work.  In part, they blame Iraqi 
Army (IA) and Iraqi Police (IP) officials for "public 
statements" made to the press that condemn the judges for faults 
in the system.  The judges make clear, however, that there is a 
fundamental problem with the system itself.  These problems, 
according to Chief Judge Sadeeq, are a tough penal code that 
requires very detailed and specific information to process 
cases.  Sadeeq said investigative information from the IA, or 
lack thereof, "forces" judges to release many detainees because 
of faulty evidence.  To help remedy the problem Sadeeq and his 
associates are calling a meeting with IA and IP officials to 
discuss the issue.  Sadeeq said he hopes that opening dialogue 
would be the best way to correct problems and ensure the justice 
system in Ninewa succeeds.  End Summary. 
 
2.  (SBU) PRT Rule of Law rep and Poloff met with Ninewa Chief 
Judge Faisal Sadeeq and Investigative Judge Amer Rashid Hammedi 
at Mosul Courthouse on February 14. 
 
------------------------------------- 
THE SYSTEM TO BLAME FOR CASE PROBLEMS 
------------------------------------- 
 
3.  (C) Chief Judge Sadeeq is tired of his judges taking the 
blame for the low number of convictions for terrorism cases 
originating in Ninewa.  He said criticism by Iraqi Police (IP) 
and Iraqi Army (IA) that judges are "cowardly" and routinely 
"release terrorists" is unfair.  Sadeeq and Investigative Judge 
Hammedi blame the "system" for what they believe demonstrates a 
disconnection between the investigative arm of the IP and IA and 
the penal code.  Sadeeq said, so far, many cases lack evidence 
necessary to convict a suspect, or as is more likely, the 
evidence is not collected or documented correctly by IP and IA 
investigators.  He said when judges do not have this specific 
information they are forced to release the detainee even though 
the person "might actually be a terrorist." 
 
----------------------------------------- 
COOPERATION WITH ARMY A "SERIOUS PROBLEM" 
----------------------------------------- 
 
4.  (C) Hammedi said one of the main problems with hearing cases 
has been due to a lack of cooperation between the Ninewa judges 
and the IA 2nd Division.  Hammedi said he is surprised when he 
hears about "terrorists" caught by IA and IP, where large caches 
of weapons are found, but that such evidence does not quite make 
its way to the courts.  As an example, Hammedi showed PRT Rule 
of Law rep a case of a suspected terrorist who has been held 
since November of last year.  Hammedi said the case against the 
suspect "lacked" specific information.  He pointed out how the 
file was missing pertinent biographic data on the detainee, as 
well as the number and description of the confiscated items, and 
the date, time, and location of the incident and investigation. 
He complained that, in this particular case, the evidentiary 
photos were photocopies or reproductions from newspapers. 
Hammedi said IA investigators claimed they found a "large cache 
of weapons" in the house of the suspect, but that the photo of 
the evidence showed weapons sitting outside leaning against a 
jersey barrier instead of the house where the weapons were 
allegedly found. 
 
5.  (C) More importantly, Sadeeq and Hammedi question the 
cooperation, or lack thereof, by 2nd Division Commanding General 
Jamaal.  Hammedi said the 2nd Division has two agents (referred 
to simply as numbers "17 and 24") who conduct all investigations 
for eastern Ninewa.  However, these two agents are not allowed 
to testify in court, according to General Jamaal.  The issue has 
caused consternation between the judges and the general, and has 
turned into a "war of memos" where each side has blasted the 
other in writing for their lack of cooperation.  Sadeeq handed 
PRT Rule of Law rep a copy of a letter received from Jamaal 
refusing to allow his agents to testify.  Hammedi said Jamaal's 
insubordination is not within the law and that the court is 
mulling the possibility of filing a case against the general. 
According to Hammedi, however, the likelihood of such an action 
is minimal since he believes it would only aggravate the 
situation.  Hammedi claimed 10 memos have been sent to Jamaal 
reminding him of the consequences of his lack of cooperation, 
but that all of the responses have been negative. 
 
--------------------------------------------- - 
JUDGES NOT WITHOUT FAULT -- CALL FOR MEETING 
--------------------------------------------- - 
6.  (C) Sadeeq said the 2nd Division might not be the only 
reason for case delays in Ninewa.  He said perhaps even his own 
judges are not without fault.  Sadeeq said in his own assessment 
of the nine investigative judges in Mosul, he noticed they tend 
to work as "individuals" rather than collectively.  He admitted 
that in certain instances some judges could be dishonest, but 
that he could not verify this without further examination. 
Sadeeq said he would like to get to the root of the problem with 
the IA and IP specifically, and suggested that the first step 
towards correcting the issue would be to have a meeting with 
their commanders.  Sadeeq admitted that his "memo war" with 
Jamaal cannot continue.  He said the group should sit down to 
discuss the legal process so that everyone is "on the same 
page."  Sadeeq said he believes these discussions would also 
help reveal any problems in the system. 
 
------- 
COMMENT 
------- 
 
7.  (C) Judges Sadeeq and Hammedi are unhappy about a system 
they see as hard on judges.  Sadeeq said he is troubled by 
public statements to the press made by IA and IP officials who 
blame the judges for problems with the justice system.  What is 
frustrating for Sadeeq, however, is that he and his colleagues 
are not permitted to speak to the media, and therefore are 
unable to publicly reply to these accusations.  As a result, 
Sadeeq said the judges simply push on, doing their jobs as best 
as they can, given the circumstances.  Sadeeq is convinced that 
opening dialogue with the IP and IA should improve relations 
and, at a minimum, serve as an initial step towards shoring up 
the investigative process.  More importantly, Sadeeq and Hammedi 
have made clear to us they not only want the justice system to 
work in Ninewa, but also that success depends on everyone -- IA, 
IP, and the courts -- working in unison.  We will continue to 
follow this issue and assist in any way we can with the upcoming 
meeting. 
MUNTER 

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