Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.
 

Judge exposes US 'deal' on Nauru

Expand Messages
  • Mike Lee
    [Excerpt: The fact that requests were made, which Nauru responded to, and promises were made in the context of these matters, which were of concern to the US
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 1 8:46 AM
      [Excerpt: "The fact that requests were made, which Nauru responded to,
      and promises were made in the context of these matters, which were of
      concern to the US Government, does lead, on the material, to the
      conclusion that the people involved did have the necessary authority of
      the Government." He said it would be a "grave injustice" if Nauru were
      not allowed to defend its claims in a trial.]

      http://www.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,4057,6850058%255E421,00.html
      Judge exposes US 'deal' on Nauru
      By Cameron Stewart
      August 2, 2003

      AN Australian court has blocked an attempt by the US to repossess
      Nauru's only aircraft, an Air Nauru 737, saying it would contravene
      promises given by Washington to reward Nauru for cracking down on
      terrorism and for helping smuggle North Korean defectors to the West.

      The summary judgment by the Victorian Supreme Court backs claims made by
      Nauru that the US gave private pledges of financial assistance to the
      impoverished island in return for abolishing its offshore banking and
      passport schemes, which Washington claimed were assisting terrorists.

      The court's decision is an embarrassment for the US, which has strongly
      denied making any such promises to Nauru in return for agreeing to crack
      down on terrorists.

      The legal judgment confirms the revelations by The Weekend Australian in
      April that a shadowy group of well-connected individuals, some claiming
      to be US intelligence officers, used a mixture of threats and promises
      to bring Nauru in from the cold in the war on terror.

      This same group also asked Nauru to join an intelligence mission, dubbed
      Operation Weasel, which was to use Nauru's diplomatic facilities in
      Beijing to help smuggle senior North Korean scientists and military
      officers to the West.

      Letters, documents and emails, obtained by The Weekend Australian, show
      this group used promises of US aid as a carrot to get Nauru to follow an
      identical agenda to that of the US State Department.

      But when Nauru took the steps asked of it, the US State Department said
      that any aid promises given to Nauru by private individuals did not have
      the authority of the US Government and that no aid would be forthcoming.

      Nauru decided to test the issue in court after the US Government's
      export credit agency Eximbank sought last month to repossess the Air
      Nauru 737 because of loan-payment defaults.

      Nauru claimed that Michael Horowitz, a former adviser to president
      Ronald Reagan, and Joe Pinder, a senior US congressional staffer, were
      among those who said they would take steps to protect the island's
      aircraft from US government creditors.

      Judge Bill Gillard ruled: "It is open to infer that these men were
      acting on high executive authority from the US Government.

      "The fact that requests were made, which Nauru responded to, and
      promises were made in the context of these matters, which were of
      concern to the US Government, does lead, on the material, to the
      conclusion that the people involved did have the necessary authority of
      the Government." He said it would be a "grave injustice" if Nauru were
      not allowed to defend its claims in a trial.

      The US State Department has made no comment on the judgement or on the
      case, which is likely to go to a full trial in Melbourne later this year.

      Confidential affidavits given to the court by five Nauruan politicians
      detailed how their island was recruited for Operation Weasel.

      The Supreme Court decision means that, for now, Nauru can keep flying
      its Air Nauru 737.

      The Australian
    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.