108457 5/16/2007 12:57 07SOFIA598 Embassy Sofia UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY 07SECSTATE59503 VZCZCXYZ0018 RR RUEHWEB DE RUEHSF #0598 1361257 ZNR UUUUU ZZH R 161257Z MAY 07 FM AMEMBASSY SOFIA TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 3696 INFO RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 0125 RUEHBM/AMEMBASSY BUCHAREST 0162 RUEAWJA/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHINGTON DC RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS UNCLAS SOFIA 000598
DEPT FOR L/LEI PETER GUTHERIE
E.O. 12958: N/A TAGS: PREL, CJAN, BU SUBJECT: BULGARIA READY TO NEGOTIATE EXTRADITION AND MLAT IN LATE JUNE
REF: SECSTATE 59503
1. (SBU) This is an action request. Please see paragraph 4.
2. (SBU) On May 3, we delivered reftel points to Georgi Rupchev, Head of International Cooperation Directorate at the Ministry of Justice (MOJ), and, separately, to Ivan Dantchev, MFA's Acting Head of America's Directorate. MOJ's Rupchev told us subsequently that the GOB is ready to host the USG negotiation team in late June (June 25 - 29). The MOJ will start the intra-agency clearance process of the proposed extradition and MLAT texts this week. Rupchev expects to present the texts to the Council of Minister on May 31 to be granted negotiation authority.
3. (SBU) The only point of contention is Bulgaria's wish to negotiate a full MLAT rather than the limited version we proposed. The MOJ will submit for Council of Ministers the full MLAT text, which covers both traditional and modern forms of legal aid. Acknowledging our strong preference to stick to the original USG proposal, Rupchev assured us that the GOB is open to negotiation, and that Council of Minister's approval only means the GOB will have the authorization to negotiate more than what is currently proposed.
4. (SBU) Please confirm whether our negotiating team would be able to come to Bulgaria on the proposed June 25-29 dates. Karagiannis