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Viewing cable 06PARIS2069, UPDATE/FAREWELL FROM TERRORISM INVESTIGATING JUDGE

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06PARIS2069 2006-03-30 13:01 2010-11-28 18:06 SECRET Embassy Paris
VZCZCXRO7008
OO RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHDT RUEHIHL RUEHKUK RUEHLMC RUEHMOS RUEHMR RUEHPA
RUEHPB
DE RUEHFR #2069/01 0891339
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
O 301339Z MAR 06
FM AMEMBASSY PARIS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5793
INFO RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES  PRIORITY
RUCNRAQ/IRAQ COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHAS/AMEMBASSY ALGIERS PRIORITY 0705
RUEHRB/AMEMBASSY RABAT PRIORITY 0848
RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS PRIORITY 0741
RUEHTRO/USLO TRIPOLI PRIORITY 0043
S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 02 PARIS 002069 

SIPDIS 

SIPDIS 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/29/2016 
TAGS: PTER PREL PGOV FR IZ MO AG TS LY KISL
SUBJECT: UPDATE/FAREWELL FROM TERRORISM INVESTIGATING JUDGE 

REF: A. 05 PARIS 7528 AND PREVIOUS 
B. 01/11/06 PARIS POINTS 

PARIS 00002069 001.2 OF 002 


Classified By: POLITICAL MINISTER-COUNSELOR JOSIAH ROSENBLATT, FOR REAS 
ONS 1.4 B/D 

1. (S) Summary: Jean-Francois Ricard, terrorism investigating 
judge for 12 years and deputy to renowned investigating judge 
Jean-Louis Bruguiere, is being promoted and transferred to 
the Ministry of Defense to work as chief magistrate for 
military penal affairs. Speculation abounds that Ricard is 
being groomed to replace Bruguiere, who is nearing the 
mandatory French civil service retirement age of 65. In a 
March 28 meeting with poloff, Ricard discussed a range of C/T 
issues, including the "jihadists to Iraq" investigation, the 
Christian Ganczarski case and the conclusion of the ex-GTMO 
detainees investigation. End summary. 

--------------------------------------------- --- 
CHANGES AMONG THE TERRORISM INVESTIGATING JUDGES 
--------------------------------------------- --- 

2. (S) Ricard described his new position at the Ministry of 
Defense as advisor on military jurisprudence and informal 
advisor on C/T matters to Defense Minister Alliot-Marie, with 
the title of "magistrate general." He also plans on 
continuing in an informal advisory role with the terrorism 
section of the Paris Prosecutor's office. Ricard said it was 
possible he would return in two to three years to take 
Bruguiere's position. Leaving for a higher-level position, 
as is the case for his new job at the Ministry of Defense, is 
a prerequisite to being eligible for Bruguiere's job. 

3. (S) When asked whether his replacement would be one of the 
recently hired terrorism investigating judges, Ricard said 
no. His replacement would likely be someone more senior who 
already has the confidence of the DST, RG and DGSE 
intelligence agencies. Ricard explained that the specificity 
of a veteran terrorism judge like himself or Bruguiere is 
that they are shown all manner of raw intelligence, even that 
which can never be included in judicial investigations. 
Being trusted by the intelligence agencies with this type of 
information is a slow process, said Ricard. As an example, 
he said it was only after five years as a terrorism 
investigating judge that the intelligence agencies allowed 
him to see the full scope of raw intelligence. Of all the 
terrorism investigating judges in the Paris Prosecutor's 
office, only he and Bruguiere are given this latitude, said 
Ricard. Relationships within the French intelligence and C/T 
world evolve slowly. 

4. (S) Ricard confirmed that Bruguiere was seeking a position 
in a future Sarkozy administration, either as Minister of 
Interior or deputy Minister of Interior. Traditionally, such 
positions are given to elected officials (with the notable 
exception of current PM Villepin), and therefore Bruguiere 
will likely run as a UMP candidate for deputy in the third 
district of Lot-et-Garonne (southwest France) in the June 
2007 legislative elections (ref B). 

------------------- 
"JIHADISTS TO IRAQ" 
------------------- 

5. (S) Ricard said the open-ended dossier on "jihadists to 
Iraq" continued to dominate the workload of the terrorism 
investigating judges. Within the dossier are four separate 
investigations, and interest among French Islamic radicals in 
fighting "jihad" in Iraq continues. Recently, Ricard said he 
had questioned a suspect in one of the investigations who had 
converted to Islam in prison, and upon his release, was 
focused on leaving for Iraq. Iraq has begun to overshadow 
the Israel-Palestinian conflict as the obsession for many 
Muslim prisoners, said Ricard. 

----------------- 
EX-GTMO DETAINEES 
----------------- 

6. (S) Ricard confirmed that the investigation of the six 
ex-GTMO detainees was finished, and the Paris Prosecutor will 
likely charge all of them with "terrorism conspiracy." 
Although the maximum prison term is ten years, Ricard did not 
believe that any of the six would be given the maximum. The 
investigating judges had successfully kept the Guantanamo 
issue out of the actual case files, but it would be 
impossible for the judges issuing the sentences not to take 

PARIS 00002069 002.2 OF 002 


into account the detainees' previous imprisonment at 
Guantanamo, said Ricard. He considered only two of the 
detainees - Khaled Ben Mustafa and Redouane Khalid - to be 
serious threats. Ricard added that he and Bruguiere had 
fought to keep Ben Mustafa and Khalid imprisoned, but the 
length of their pretrial detention, coupled with their 
detention at Guantanamo, had swayed the "liberty and 
detention" judge to release them on bail. The trial of the 
six ex-GTMO detainees should begin in mid-May, said Ricard. 
Only one detainee, Brahim Yadel, is still in prison. 

----------------------------------------- 
THE INVESTIGATION OF CHRISTIAN GANCZARSKI 
----------------------------------------- 

7. (S) German convert Christian Ganczarski and Moroccan 
national Karim Mehdi were arrested in 2003 and since then 
have been in French custody under suspicion of having ties 
with al-Qaeda. Their investigation continues, but Ricard 
said he is convinced that Ganczarski was aware of the 
planning for the 9/11 attacks. He mentioned a video he had 
seen showing Osama bin Laden lecturing, Ganczarski listening 
to bin Laden in the front row and Mohammed Atta, one of the 
9/11 hijackers, right behind him. Ganczarski refuses to talk 
at all, said Ricard. "In another time, he would've been an 
SS general," Ricard added. 

----------------------- 
TUNISIA, GICM AND LIBYA 
----------------------- 

8. (S) In other updates, Ricard said intelligence-sharing 
relationships recently had become strained between Tunisia 
and France. The strain originated on the Tunisian side, said 
Ricard, and he assumed that it was due to political 
calculations. (Comment: Since a FM Douste-Blazy visit to 
Tunis last fall, the GOF has become more outspoken on human 
rights in Tunisia, though still much less so than the U.S. 
End comment.) Regarding the Moroccan terrorist group GICM, 
Ricard said investigations into a GICM cell discovered in 
2005 were wrapping up, and he expected those arrested to go 
to trial in September. Finally, the GOF had picked up some 
signs that small terrorist groups made up of individuals from 
North Africa are quietly using Libya as a training base, said 
Ricard. He speculated that the Libyan intelligence services 
are generally aware of this and working to disrupt them, but 
said it would likely be difficult to do so given that the 
groups are very small. 

9. (U) Tripoli minimize considered. 
Please visit Paris' Classified Website at: 
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/eur/paris/index.c fm 

Stapleton