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Diplomacy in Action

14. b. Declaration of Clifton M. Johnson attached to U.S. opposition.


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DECLARATION OF CLIFTON M JOHNSON

1. I am now and have been since 2006 the Assistant Legal Adviser for Law Enforcement and Intelligence in the Office of the Legal Adviser of the United States Department of State, Washington, D.C. I was also an Attorney Adviser in the same office from 1997 to 2000 and have been in the office of the Legal Adviser in these and other positions for 17 years. The Office of Law Enforcement and Intelligence is the primary office in the Department of State responsible for extradition matters, including the processing of individual extradition cases. As the Assistant Legal Adviser, I am the head of that office and therefore responsible for overseeing U.S. extradition policy and practice worldwide. I am familiar with the extradition case of Manuel Noriega. I make the following statements based upon my personal knowledge and information made available to me in the performance of my official duties.

2. In response to the request of the Court that the United States “confirm current compliance with Article 12 of the [Geneva] Convention” regarding the pending extradition of Noriega to France, I can provide the following information.

3. It is my understanding, as represented in previous filings in his case, that the United States has, throughout Noriega’s incarceration in the United States, afforded him treatment that is entirely consistent with the mandates of the Geneva Convention Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War, Aug. 12, 1949, 6 U.S.T. 3316, 75 U.N.T.S. 135 (“Geneva III”). Whether or not Noriega was entitled to prisoner of war status, the United States has extended to him the benefits that a prisoner of war would enjoy, including notification to the International Committee of the Red Cross of the filing of the French extradition request. It is my understanding that Noriega has never claimed that the United States has failed to comply with the court’s ruling regarding his status.

4. With that background in mind, the United States approached its negotiations with France in the same manner, by focusing on ensuring that he would be treated in a manner consistent with the conditions to which he would be entitled as a prisoner of war, irrespective of the actual status France accorded him. Therefore, our discussions with the Government of France focused on confirming that he would receive the same benefits that Noriega enjoys in prison in the United States, i.e., the specific rights to which Noriega was entitled under the Court’s ruling and as specified in Geneva III. As a result of those discussions, we received specific information concerning the various rights to which Noriega will be entitled during his incarceration in France. Based on that information, we can confirm that France does indeed intend to afford him all the same rights that he was afforded during his incarceration in the United States.

5. The Embassy of France reiterated to me this morning that the Government of France stands by these commitments.

I declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct.

-s-
September 6, 2007
 ____________________
Clifton M. Johnson
Assistant Legal Adviser
for Law Enforcement and Intelligence



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