US embassy cables: US embassy hands confidential Odyssey documents to Spanish
From The Guardian
Friday, 07 September 2007, 10:49
UNCLAS MADRID 001722 - SIPDIS - SENSITIVE - SIPDIS - STATE FOR EUR/WE, L, AND OES - EO 12958 N/A
TAGS PREL, EWWT, PBTS, PHSA, SCUL, SP">SP"="">SP">SP">SP"="">SP">SP">SP, CA
SUBJECT: ODYSSEY UPDATE: DHS DELIVERS CUSTOMS INFORMATION
REF: MADRID 1670 AND PREVIOUS
1. (SBU) On September 6, DHS-ICE Attache delivered the Odyssey Customs import documents to Director of Aduanas Nicolas Bonilla, as requested by GOS via the Customs Mutual Assistance Agreement (CMAA) on July 24. The DHS-ICE Attache advised Bonilla that the information was confidential and to be used only for law enforcement purposes. Bonilla expressed appreciation for the information, and assured the DHS-ICE Attache that it would be used only for official purposes. He added that Aduanas would make a formal request through DHS channels before sharing the documents with any other GOS agency. Post advised MFA representatives of this exchange the afternoon of September 6.
2. (SBU) Separately, the MFA sent Post a diplomatic note September 4 in response to the Ambassador's August 29 meeting with Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos (ref). MFA officials advised us verbally that they will seek the Odyssey information through their Aduanas, acknowledging that Aduanas would first have to seek the necessary permission from DHS. Jorge Domecq, MFA's Deputy Director for Gibraltar Issues, noted that MFA was interested in obtaining the Odyssey customs information to provide to lawyers representing the GOS in the Tampa Admiralty Court.
3. (SBU) Meanwhile, the Odyssey Explorer remains docked in Gibraltar and has not yet unloaded its cargo. According to British Embassy representatives, Odyssey representatives have stated that the vessel will begin unloading its cargo the week of September 10.
4. (SBU) Below is an informal translation of Foreign Ministry diplomatic note 277/31 dated August 31, which was provided to the Embassy on September 4.