“FBI searches ex-Reagan aide Robert McFarlane’s apartment for evidence he lobbied for Sudan”

March 21, 2013

The Washington Post on March 21, 2013 released the following:

“By Associated Press,

WASHINGTON — The FBI has searched the apartment of former Reagan administration national security adviser Robert McFarlane for evidence of whether he lobbied on behalf of the government of Sudan in violation of federal law.

A search warrant on file in U.S. District Court in Washington shows agents seized items this month including handwritten notes about Sudan and White House documents with classification markings up to Top Secret.

It is against the law for Americans to do business with Sudan because of its alleged support for international terrorism and human rights violations, among other things. Sudan’s president, Omar al-Bashir, has been charged by the International Criminal Court with genocide and other crimes during the deadly conflict in Sudan’s western Darfur region.

In an accompanying affidavit, FBI agent Grayden R. Ridd cited a host of emails between McFarlane and Sudanese government officials obtained prior to the search.

“I believe that these emails are evidence that McFarlane was entering into an agreement with the government of Sudan to lobby the U.S. government officials on behalf of Sudan and to provide it advice during negotiations with the United States,” Ridd wrote. He said he believed the emails are also evidence of an attempt by McFarlane and a Sudanese government official “to hide McFarlane’s relationship with Sudan by construing the agreement to make it appear that his contractual relationship was with Qatar, when in fact it was not.”

The affidavit said that the FBI investigation has established that in February 2009, McFarlane entered into a one-year agreement with the government of Sudan to act as its consultant and to lobby the U.S. government on its behalf.

Ridd wrote that the source of the emails to McFarlane appeared to be someone from the Sudanese intelligence service.

The affidavit is listed as “under seal” but is viewable online.

The FBI is also investigating whether McFarlane violated a law that requires anyone working as a foreign agent of another country to disclose that to the Foreign Agent Registration Act Unit of the Justice Department.

The investigation into McFarlane was first reported by The Washington Post.

McFarlane has not been charged with a crime. The case is being handled by the U.S. attorney’s office for the Eastern District of Virginia. A spokesman for the office, Peter Carr, said McFarlane is cooperating with the ongoing investigation and, through his counsel, has asserted his innocence.

McFarlane’s lawyer, Barry Levine, did not immediately return telephone and email messages Thursday. Levine told The Post that McFarlane didn’t violate any laws.

“He has devoted his entire adult life to the interests of this country, and he cares deeply about the people of Darfur,” Levine told the newspaper.”


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The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

Alleged Iran plot may have violated UN treaty

October 13, 2011

The Jerusalem Post on October 13, 2011 released the following:


Treaty forbids attacking diplomats; US, Saudi Arabia can bring case before Security Council, International Criminal Court, Interpol.

An alleged plot to assassinate the Saudi Arabian ambassador to the United States may have violated a UN treaty protecting diplomats and could escalate the crisis to an international court.

US authorities have arrested Iranian-American Manssor Arbabsiar for the alleged plot and accused a second Iranian man, Gholam Shakuri, who is believed to be at large in Iran and a member of the country’s elite Quds Force.

If they were involved in a plot to kill Saudi Ambassador Adel al-Jubeir, that would likely violate the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Crimes Against Internationally Protected Persons.

The treaty, which Iran signed in 1978, would require Tehran to consider prosecuting Shakuri in its court system or extradite him to a requesting country, potentially the United States or Saudi Arabia, both longtime foes.

An important sticking point to any prosecution or extradition is that Iran has fiercely denied the allegations and is unlikely to turn Shakuri over to any country.

“This is one of those areas where there’s not really too much fuzziness. It’s very clear that these kind of people (diplomats), these kind of officials, they’re immune from attack,” said David Kaye, executive director of the UCLA School of Law’s International Human Rights Law Program.

Jubeir was named Saudi ambassador to the United States in early 2007 after serving in the embassy in Washington. He is considered a close adviser to Saudi King Abdullah, a key US ally in the volatile and oil-rich Middle East region.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made a point on Wednesday of noting that Iran had agreed to the UN treaty.

“This kind of reckless act undermines international norms and the international system. Iran must be held accountable for its actions,” she said.

Two options

The United States has two options if Iran officially rejects the case, including pursuing action at the UN Security Council. That was done when Libya refused to hand over two men accused of the Pan Am 103 bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland.

The United States or Saudi Arabia could bring it to the United Nations and argue that “these are very obvious violations and for the Security Council to do nothing in light of this major attempted violation cheapens the words” of the treaty, Kaye said.

Another option, if there is a dispute under the UN treaty for protected persons, is that one side can seek an arbitration and ultimately a ruling from the Court of International Justice, located in the Netherlands.

“Basically it’s asking the court to interpret whether the convention has in fact been violated,” said Sean Murphy, a professor at George Washington University Law School who has argued several cases before the court.

After lengthy legal wrangling in the Lockerbie case and an eventual thawing of relations between Washington and Tripoli, the suspects in that case were handed over to a Scottish court that was convened in the Netherlands.

The United States could also turn the matter over to Interpol, the global police organization, which could order an international arrest warrant for Shakuri, thus making it difficult for him to travel outside of Iran, the experts said.

The legal proceedings against Arbabsiar will proceed in US District Court in New York where he will appear on Oct. 25 for a preliminary hearing.”

To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Crimes Watch Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.