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Viewing cable 09PARIS1228, FRANCE-IRAN: JUDICIAL INDEPENDENCE AT THE ROOT OF

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09PARIS1228 2009-09-09 10:10 2010-12-02 15:03 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Paris
VZCZCXYZ0001
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHFR #1228 2521027
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 091027Z SEP 09
FM AMEMBASSY PARIS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7118
INFO RUEHGB/AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD PRIORITY 0387
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 7262
C O N F I D E N T I A L PARIS 001228 

SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/07/2019 
TAGS: PREL IR FR
SUBJECT: FRANCE-IRAN: JUDICIAL INDEPENDENCE AT THE ROOT OF 
BAIL SET FOR KAKAVAND, PER PRESIDENCY ADVISOR 

REF: A. A. PARIS 01205 
B. B. BAGHDAD 02397 

Classified By: Political Minister-Counselor Kathleen H. Allegrone 
for Reasons 1.4 (b), (d). 

1. (C) We met with Elysee strategic affairs advisor Richier 
September 4 to follow up on reports that a French judge had 
released Iranian national Majid Kakavand on bail and subject 
to determination of a pending U.S. extradition request. In 
previous conversations about the fate of French citizen 
Clothilde Reiss and her release to French embassy custody in 
Tehran, Richier had assured us that France had no intention 
to negotiate with Iranian authorities on a prisoner exchange 
and that President Sarkozy himself had been apprised of and 
rejected an Iranian effort to seek the release of Kakavand. 
(ref. a) 

2. (C) Responding to Pol M/C,s questions, Richier told us 
that the Elysee had been taken completely by surprise by the 
judge's decision. The prosecutor in the case had 
consistently argued for holding Kakavand, but the judge had 
determined that Kakavand "presented little chance for flight" 
and had agreed to release him on 200,000 euro bond. 
According to Richier, the Elysee reacted quickly and strongly 
to news of the decision on August 28 and that there were very 
sharp exchanges between the Office of the President (Elysee) 
and the Justice Minister, but that the government cannot 
reverse the judge,s decision. However, Richier assured us 
that French authorities are keeping a close eye on 
Kakavand,s whereabouts to prevent or interrupt possible 
flight. They have established what Richier called "tight" 
surveillance on Kakavand. Proving the point, Richier 
telephoned to a colleague in one of the services who 
confirmed that Kakavand was currently in buildings owned by 
Iran and managed by the Iranian Embassy, located in Paris. 
Richier added his own private observation that the way in 
which the judgment was rendered in this case implies that the 
request for extradition will be approved, although we must 
wait until October for that decision. 

3. (C) Comment: The French have been concerned, from the 
beginning of their hostage case, about possible Iranian 
pressure to exchange Iranian prisoners for French or U.S. 
nationals held in Iran. Embassy Baghdad reporting (ref. b) 
suggests that is exactly what Iran plans to do. Obviously 
the French judge,s decision to grant Kakavand a temporary 
release complicates the situation. However, Sarkozy,s 
public tone and Richier,s strong comments, suggest that 
France will make every effort to keep Kakavand under close 
surveillance, pending a decision on the extradition request. 
RIVKIN