251,287 cables indexed
Reference ID: 07MADRID899
Subject: SPAIN/COUSO CASE: UPDATE; CONVERSATIONS WITH KEY SPANISH LEADERS
Origin: Embassy Madrid, Spain Classification: UNCLASSIFIED//FOUO
Created:11 May 2007 Released:26 Aug 2011
Tags: MARR, PGOV, PREL, SP

This is the cable as released by WikiLeaks. This cable is not redacted.

This cable has been published by El Pais (Spain).

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UNCLAS MADRID 000899

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

EUR/WE FOR ALLEGRONE, CLEMENTS AND CERVETTI, L/LEI FOR
PROPP, KULISH AND JOHNSON

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: MARR, PGOV, PREL, SP
SUBJECT: SPAIN/COUSO CASE: UPDATE; CONVERSATIONS WITH KEY
SPANISH LEADERS

REF: A. MADRID 0800 AND PREVIOUS
B. LLORENS-ALLEGRONE E-MAIL OF APRIL 30
C. 2007

1. (SBU) DCM Llorens met with Spanish State Secretary for
Justice (Deputy Minister-equivalent) Julio Perez Hernandez on
May 10 to express USG's strong concern about the formal
charges filed in Spain against the three US serviceman named
in the legal case filed by family members of the Spanish
camaraman Jose Couso, who was killed by US fire during the
capture of Baghdad in April 2003 (ref A). DCM was following
up on the April 30 discussion between US Ambassador to Spain
Aguirre and Spanish First Vice President Maria Teresa
Fernandez de la Vega (ref B), in which de la Vega said she
was following the case carefully, had reviewed the the
documents filed by Judge Pedraz on April 27 and had found no
new material in the material or evidence included in the
decision nor in the Judge's conclusions. In response to the
Ambassador's strong pitch for the government to seriously
consider appealing the decision, she said that an appeal was
among the options being weighed, but cautioned that the
government had to tread carefully in dealing with Spain's
independent judiciary. She assured the Ambassador that she
was deeply involved in following the case and that it had the
attention of the highest levels of the Spanish government.

2. (SBU) In his conversation with the DCM, Perez-Hernandez
said that there was still some time availabe for an appeal
(despite information last week that the appeal deadline had
passed) because the timeline did not start precisely when the
case was filed. He said that he understood that the Spanish
National Court Chief Prosecutor Javier Zaragoza was
considering an appeal. (Perez-Hernandez said that his
office was checking on the precise timeline). He said his
government shared the USG's concern about this case and said
he would follow the case every step of the way and stay in
touch with the Embassy. He noted that the government does
not control the judiciary and it might be counter-productive
to launch a formal government approach, but that the GOS
would work with the US to assist in the process. DCM
reiterated the USG's deep concern about the case, noting that
the USG had conducted a thorough investigation, shared these
results with the Spanish government and that the results were
clear that the three US servicemen had committed no crime.
Our sympathies remained with the families but there was no
cause to ruin the lives of the three US servicemen, who were
not criminals. DCM vowed to remain in close contact with
Perez-Hernandez and his office on the case, and
Perez-Hernandez welcome close coordination.
Aguirre