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Viewing cable 09KABUL3185, AFGHANS SEEK IMPROVED JUDICIAL SECURITY; CSTC-A AGREES TO

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09KABUL3185 2009-10-10 05:05 2011-01-23 19:07 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Kabul
VZCZCXRO7388
RR RUEHDBU RUEHPW RUEHSL
DE RUEHBUL #3185/01 2830528
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 100528Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY KABUL
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 2024
INFO RUCNAFG/AFGHANISTAN COLLECTIVE
UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KABUL 003185 

SIPDIS 
SENSITIVE 

DEPARTMENT FOR S/SRAP, SCA/A, AND INL 

E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV KJUS EAID AF
SUBJECT: AFGHANS SEEK IMPROVED JUDICIAL SECURITY; CSTC-A AGREES TO 
SUPPORT TRAINING EFFORTS BUT MORE RESOURCES LIKELY NECESSARY 

1. (U) SUMMARY. Afghan officials, including the Afghan Chief 
Justice, the Attorney General, the Minister of Interior, and the 
Minister of Justice agree 24-hour security for certain at-risk 
judges and prosecutors is needed to establish a judiciary capable of 
prosecuting the powerful criminals and corrupt officials who are 
destabilizing Afghanistan. The Afghan government has agreed to work 
with the United States, the UK (a strong supporter), and other 
partners to recruit, train, and equip a specialized judicial 
security unit (JSU) modeled on the U.S. Marshals Service. A 
technical committee has met several times to discuss how to stand up 
such a force. On September 28, CSTC-A agreed to help identify a 
training and billeting facility, and provide JSU officers from the 
build-up of ANP forces. Additional funding resources, however, will 
be required to proceed. End Summary. 

-------------------------------------- 
BACKGROUND: NEED FOR JUDICIAL SECURITY 
-------------------------------------- 

2. (U) The fear of assassination prevents many (if not most) Afghan 
judges and prosecutors from carrying out their duties with 
objectivity, particularly in cases involving powerful criminals or 
well-connected corrupt officials. Their fear is well-founded: the 
justice minister in Kunduz province was killed by an IED attack in 
late August (the Taliban claimed credit). In the past six months, 
insurgents killed eight prosecutors and kidnapped four others. The 
Chief Appellate Judge of the Central Narcotics Tribunal was killed 
in September 2008. Hence, Afghan and international experts agree 
Afghan judges and prosecutors need increased protection in order to 
establish an independent judiciary capable of prosecuting criminal 
and corrupt actors. 

3. (U) Since 2006, the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS) has been 
involved in the assessment and improvement of security for the 
Counter-Narcotics Justice Task Force (CJTF) in Kabul. However, 
because of lack of funding, the USMS mandate was limited to training 
a small unit of the Counter Narcotics Police of Afghanistan (CNPA) 
to provide courtroom security. Following the assassination of the 
Chief Appellate Judge of the Central Narcotics Tribunal, judicial 
security became an urgent priority, and the USMS modified its 
mission to include training in personal security for key personnel. 
In a meeting with CJTF personnel shortly after the assassination, 
the Ministry of Interior (MOI) promised to create a judicial 
security program. The MOI also promised to increase the number of 
slots allotted to the CNPA unit, now called the Afghan Marshals 
Service (AMS), and the tashkil was increased from 28 to 74. 
Currently, however, only 47 men and women are in the unit. 

---------------------------------- 
AFGHANS AGREE TO JUDICIAL SECURITY 
---------------------------------- 

4. (U) Civilian and military elements have had a number of 
discussions in recent weeks on the need Afghan officials see to 
develop a better way to provide better judicial security. 

5. (U) The Deputy Ambassador, U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham of South 
Carolina, and the Rule of Law Coordinator met on August 23, 2009 
with Afghan Chief Justice Abdul Salaam Azimi, and separately with 
Afghan Attorney General Mohammed Shaq Aloko, to discuss expanding 
judicial security. When that U.S. delegation met with Afghan 
Interior Minister Mohammed Hanif Atmar August 25, the Afghan 
officials acknowledged the importance and urgency of the issue. On 
August 26, they jointly agreed to seek U.S. assistance to form a 
special unit to protect Afghan judges and prosecutors. 

6. (U) On August 27, 2009, a Kabul-based team (including 
representatives from Rule of Law (ROL), Department of Justice (DOJ), 
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), USMS, Bureau of International 
Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL), CSTC-A, USFOR-A, and CENTCOM), 
met with Afghan Justice Minister Sanwar Danish, MOI Deputy Minister 
Mangal, Supreme Court General Chief Administrator Halimi, and Deputy 
Attorney General Fatah to discuss the way forward. A technical 
committee composed of Afghan, U.S., and UK officials subsequently 
met to examine the details of the JSU plan. The committee agreed to 
draft a concept paper addressing recruiting, training, equipping, 
and funding a judicial security unit. The committee will also 
explore the possibility of creating secure housing compounds for 
judges and prosecutors, as was done in Baghdad. 

7. (U) During the discussions, the Afghan side proposed a nationwide 
force of up to 7,411 personnel at an estimated cost of $43 million 
(the U.S. and international donors would need to provide this 
assistance). Deputy Interior Minister Mangal offered 100 police 
officers, starting in September 2009, to meet the short-term needs 
of the proposed Justice Security Unit (JSU). The JSU would protect 
judges at the Counter Narcotics Justice Center, the Supreme Court, 
and judges handling Anti-Corruption Unit and Major Crimes Task Force 
cases. In addition, the Afghan side proposed including protection 

KABUL 00003185 002 OF 002 


for ministry officials and juvenile detention centers. 

8. (U) The U.S. delegation proposed to train the JSU to provide 
courtroom and personal security for judges and prosecutors, and to 
apprehend fugitives. They made clear that U.S. funding would need 
to be tied to compliance with the implementation plan. To support 
development of a plan, the USMS recently conducted a security 
assessment of the needs of the Supreme Court. 

9. (U) At a meeting on September 26, DM Mangal, and DOJ and USMS 
officials discussed the need to replicate the training given to the 
security force at the CNJC for the entire proposed national JSU. 
Deputy Minister Mangal agreed to revise the structure of the MOI to 
place the JSU, now part of the CNPA, under the direct supervision of 
DM Mangal. This step would encourage use of the existing JSU as a 
model for the development of the larger, nationwide JSU envisioned 
by the Afghan government. 

10. (U) Subsequently, Technical Operations Division Assistant 
Director William Snelson and Commander Special Operations Group 
David Robertson, U.S. Marshals Service (USMS), met with COL Scott 
Jones, CSTC-A Deputy Assistant Commanding General for Police 
Development, and COL Louis Jordan, CSTC-A Senior Military Advisor to 
the Deputy Minister of the Interior for Counter-Narcotics, September 
28, 2009 to how the U.S. military can support standing up an Afghan 
Judicial Security Unit (JSU) modeled on the USMS. CSTC-A pledged to 
help locate a training facility for the JSU program. In addition, 
COL Jones said the JSU force will come from the over-all planned 
build-up of the Afghan National Police. CSTC-A asked the U.S. 
Marshal Service to provide subject matter expertise in developing 
the force structure of the unit, which USMS agreed to do. Both 
CSTC-A and USMS agreed the 7,411 person security element is 
excessive. 

------- 
COMMENT 
------- 

11. (SBU) Post strongly supports the proposal to build the JSU into 
an effective security unit to protect judges and prosecutors. 
However, we note the difficulty of obtaining adequate funding and 
sufficient numbers of U.S. Marshals Service personnel to oversee 
training of the unit. We are encouraged by the support pledged by 
CSTC-A to locate and develop a training facility. 

12. (SBU) Under the best of circumstances, providing security to 
judges in the provinces is years away. Our sense is that protection 
should first be provided to justices of the U.S.-funded Counter 
Narcotics Justice Center, then to Afghan Supreme Court Justices, 
then to at-risk judges in Kabul, and then to at-risk judges in key 
provinces. The JSU will only protect prosecutors under specific 
threat, as in the United States. 

13. (SBU) Afghan government officials agree -- and we agree -- that 
the country's judiciary and progress on rule of law would benefit 
from creation of a judicial security unit. At the same time, 
discussion of key points, including the size of the program and the 
budget it would need, have yet to begin in a detailed way. Embassy 
and potential Afghan partners are meeting to develop the thinking 
further and will provide Washington with updates, and at the 
appropriate time requests for action, as the work here proceeds. 

EIKENBERRY