Arrest Warrant Of 11 April 2000 Case

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(PRWEB) November 16, 2004

The Following Is A True Story

Part I

In the early 1990?s, $ 700 million were allotted by the U.S. Government for ?humanitarian purposes?. The Security Pacific National Bank (SPNB) of Brea, California, was contracted to transform the money into prepaid banking instruments (International Money Orders/IMO?s) in denominations of $ 2,000 to then be distributed to victims of the war in Bosnia. However, in 1992, SPNB suffered a ?security breach? and the IMO?s were ordered destroyed. Whatever became of the $ 700 million?

In 1996, the same Bank (SPNB) which was responsible for the ?security breach? in 1992, entered into another contract to transform $ 700 million into prepaid banking instruments (IMO?s) for a company called International Trading Holding of New York. The guarantor was to be The National Bank of America. According to the contract, this money was also destined to be used for ?humanitarian Purposes?. Was this the same money allotted in 1990? If so, did it reach its destination this time? If not, who can tell us what happened to both allotments which total $ 1.4 billion ?

These contracts remained shrouded in secrecy till, in 2001, a Rome businessman began investigating the IMO?s, and in April of 2003, officials of the California Controller?s Office Task Force, FBI agents, and the California D.A.?s office, for reasons unknown, decided to leak selected information regarding the IMO?s to the public. While the information leaked by the authorities revealed little about the whereabouts of the money, it managed to label the IMO?s ?counterfeit? (without listing proof) and tidily linked it all together with three press releases announcing the arrests of four people, two (2) who had attempted to cash IMO?s at a San Diego bank and two (2) who tried to validate them at the Sacramento Controller?s Office.

The Chief Investigator at the California Controller?s Office, Dale Lee, released this statement to the Sacramento Bee newspapers in California in April, 2003, regarding the arrest of two men in November of 2002, who were attempting to cash IMO?s at the offices of the Controller: ?The roots of the case go back to the early 1990?s when Security Pacific National Bank suffered a security breach. Before it was bought by Bank of America (BofA), SPNB contracted out for the destruction of the money orders. The destruction was to be done in the Philippines. But some money orders became templates for counterfeiters. Counterfeit money began circulating in Eastern Europe in 1992, about the time the bank merged with Bank of America (BofA).?

Lee?s statement is misleading as it precludes any opposition to the arrests or disagreement that the IMO?s are counterfeit. In fact, contrary to the gravity of the accusations levied against the four (conspiracy to defraud, possession of forged items, attempted grand theft forgery), all four of the arrested were sentenced to misdemeanours. Why then was it necessary to ?stage? these arrests? How is it possible that some people were arrested for presenting the IMO?s at the Controller?s Offices when that is precisely the place where one should go to if they possess IMO?s and wish to know if they are valid ! How can one be accused of ?intent? to commit fraud when he/she goes directly to the authorities to ask if the IMO?s are valid or not? The fact remains that there are few alternatives for verification, except through the Controller’s Office. No competent authority has ever provided a means to verify the validity of the IMO?s, let alone make their existence known to the public!

The most shocking revelation in these ?questionable? arrests remains the fact that one of the four persons, Vladimir Jacovina, is the major co-ordinator of $ 520 million in IMO?s still in circulation in Europe! After pleading guilty in Sacramento to six charges including conspiracy to defraud, possession of a forged item and attempted grand theft forgery, Jacovina was ordered to return to Croatia. Needless to say, Jacovina did not return to his country and is presently seeking other ways to utilize the IMO?s as collateral for European investments. Is it possible that investigator Lee and his Special Task Force failed to recognize Vladimir Jacovina? If they had wanted to recuperate the IMO?s still in circulation shouldn?t they have kept him in custody? By ordering him to return to Croatia on his own volition, did the authorities commit an unforgivable blunder or was it done intentionally? For what reason did the authorities wait 12 years to ?go public? and in the context of questionable arrests in California?

We believe that the reason goes back to April of 2001, when an Italian businessman in Rome, having received an offer from a group of Croatian businessmen to invest in his company utilizing IMO?s as tender, began a routine investigation to determine the validity of the IMO?s in question. He took one (1) original IMO and the serial numbers of $ 20,000,000 worth of IMO?s to FBI agents John Casenza and Linda Vidi, at the U.S. Embassy in Rome, offering his full collaboration should the documents be illegitimate. Casenza called him back on 18 May, 2001, to say that ?the only way to verify their validity was to deposit them into an account?. The businessman also sent the serial numbers to Bank of America (BofA) for verification. BofA answered (but only verbally by phone) that the serial numbers were ?legit?. His emails and faxes, asking for verification, to Leticia Duarte, Supervisor at the California State Controllers Offices in Sacramento were never answered. Cautiously, he had the investors sent off 100 IMO?s, from Croatia to his partner in the USA, for verification at their company?s Bank of America branch in Los Osos, California. This time, BofA refused to accept them, stating that they were ?real?, but could not be accepted for deposit because ?they were a non-valid account?. (How can ?real? prepaid instruments be a non valid account?!?)

Not having received a reply from Duarte, and knowing that full information regarding prepaid documents with an invalid account must be available from the Controller?s Office the businessman logically concluded that the account must be valid. So, for additional verification, he sent one (1) IMO to his personal account with USAA Federal Savings Bank in San Antonio, Texas, and two (2) IMO?s to his account with the Internal Revenue Service, carefully including a letter to both institutions warning them that the instruments could be counterfeit or not valid. All three (3) money orders were honoured by Bank of America. (What better proof of validity?)

Shortly afterward, a ?mysterious? investment advisor named Randy Evans presented himself to the Rome businessman?s U.S. associates claiming to represent the W.B.M.B. Enterprise Ltd., a company with experience in dealing with the IMO?s and offering the collaboration of his organization in cashing them in exchange for a percentage of the proceeds. Evans? Phoenix offices were visited and from all outward appearances, seemed to be legitimate. A contract was signed with W.B.M.B. for their collaboration in rendering $ 194,000 in IMO?s useful. The IMO?s were turned over to Evans? partner, John Buttner, who was to deposit the IMO?s in their company account.

The IMO?s were immediately confiscated by El Paso FBI agent, Kurt Schmidt. Attorney General, John Cornyn, arbitrarily declared the IMO?s to be ?counterfeit?, basing his announcement on the unqualified ?opinion? of Agent Schmidt and the glib statements advanced by BofA Officials (one of the parties which would profit greatly by not honouring the IMO?s). The businessman in Rome, followed suit by demanding proof and documentation that the IMO?s were counterfeit addressing his demands directly to Cornyn, the El Paso FBI, the California Controller?s Offices, and the Comptroller of the Currency in Washington D.C. Not one person or agency answered his calls, faxes, or emails! (In 2002, the mysterious Mr. Evans, his company and offices disappeared and information regarding them cannot be found.)The businessman, exasperated with the behaviour of the authorities, invoked the Freedom of Information Act, and finally got an answer on December 19th, 2001, from the Comptroller in Wash. D.C., stating that the IMO?s were ?not valid documents?, without specifying why. A few days later the businessman received censored and abridged documents of questionable value from them!

In January of 2003, Cornyn?s successor, Johnny Sutton, followed suit by issuing an indictment and a warrant for the arrest of the businessman who would not stop making inquiries and demanding answers from authorities. Following carefully Cornyn?s footsteps, Dutton never bothered to produce legitimate proof of his allegations put forth in the indictments. Does this make sense: indicting and arresting the one person who was not only qualified to conduct an investigation into the validity of the IMO?s, who addressed himself directly to the authorities most qualified to furnish information and, to add, even offered his collaboration to the authorities in locating IMO?s still in circulation? (In 2003, the California Controller?s Offices totally ignored his offer of cooperation in locating the IMO?s still in circulation, as did the FBI in Rome in 2001) Was the businessman getting too close to something which was not meant for public scrutiny?

Another fascinating feature of this affair is the behaviour of officials of Bank of America (BofA), throughout the businessman?s investigations. When pressed for information regarding the IMO?s, BofA officials responded in a variety of ways:

__ they first confirmed that the IMO?s were ?legit?,

__ then stated the IMO?s were ?real? but were ?not a valid account?,

__ then honoured one (1) IMO to the businessman?s account with his Texas bank,????

__ then honoured two (2) IMO?s to the same businessman?s account with the Internal

???? Revenue Service,

__ then refused to honour them.

Today these glaring facts remain:

?????No official agency has ever made public the whereabouts of the confiscated IMO?s. The persons responsible for the IMO Affair have been able to go about their business undisturbed for over 12 years, weaving a mass of intrigues which ultimately enveloped and obscured every aspect of the IMO?s. In spite of this, one businessman in Rome conducting a routine investigation, was able to amass a mountain of information to which the FBI, the Texas judiciary, the California Controller?s office and the Comptroller of the Currency in D.C. have been unable or unwilling to provide.

?????Neither the Security Pacific National Bank nor the Bank of America have been held responsible for the 1992 ?security breach?.

?????If there is a person or agency accountable for the $ 700M, they have yet to come forth.

?????Nothing is known of the money from the second (1996) allotment of $ 700M.

?????Bank of America has reaped great profits from their involvement in this affair and stand to reap even more if they do not have to honour the IMO?s or to restore the money lost in the ?security breach? of 1992/3. It?s not surprising that they respond to inquiries with conflicting and ignominious declarations.

?????No U.S. government official or agency has ever offered an explanation for why IMO?s were employed as a means of distributing aid to victims of a war-torn country, when we know full well what difficulties are to be encountered in cashing such tender where???? reliable banking services are almost non-existent and recipients are left few alternatives but to seek private investors who would purchase the money orders at highly discounted rates.

?????In January, 2003, a reputable businessman in Rome and his business partner were falsely accused of ?conspiracy to commit bank fraud? and ?bank fraud? in an indictment issued by Texas Attorney General Johnny Sutton. Nowhere in Sutton?s indictments, warrants for arrest, and request for extradition, did he provide reasonable proof of the accusations made against these two people nor did he produce legitimate proof that the IMO?s were counterfeit. The accusations merely reflect the opinions of FBI agents and remarks (albeit conflicting) made by officials of Bank of America, a party which is benefiting economically in this affair. The Rome businessman who refused to stop his investigations and insisted on straight answers has been incarcerated two times, placed under house arrest and forced to endure both the financial burden and emotional stress to himself and his family resulting from continuous legal battles in a notoriously overworked and inefficient Italian judiciary too easily influenced by the capricious arrogance and heavy-handed actions of U.S. authorities. To add, the venerable Judge Michael S. McDonald of the El Paso, Texas Circuit Court has denied the man his legal right to representation in a U.S. court of law stating that he will not discuss the matter till the accused is ?in his presence?, thereby locking the accused into an interminable cycle of Italian court hearings and repeated arrests. All this can go on as long as the U.S. authorities see fit to keep him busy doing something other than investigating this affair. The businessman?s partner (a U.S. citizen) has dropped his opposition to extradition some months ago, but to date the U.S. authorities have not sent marshals to take him into custody and he remains in ?limbo? in a Croatian prison.

?????Ever since its beginnings in 1990, the IMO Affair has been a carefully guarded secret. Is it possible that our representatives in the U.S. Government remain unaware of its existence and the final destination of what may be as much as $ 1.4 Billion ?

Considering the gravity of these facts, every U.S. citizen has the right to demand clear and precise answers to a lot of questions concerning the $ 1.4 Billion dollars in question. Let?s start with the following:

1.????Was there a U.S. official or agency appointed to control the movement of the $ 700 Million at the moment they were allocated? Who is that person? Can he or she provide a clear and transparent accounting of the money?

2.????How is it possible that Bank of America honoured one IMO to a Texas bank and two IMO?s to the Internal Revenue Service and then decided to cease payment of others declaring (without providing proof) that the bank instruments were counterfeit ?

3.????Why was an unreliable bank like Security Pacific entrusted with such a large sum of money not only once but two times?

4.????Security Pacific Bank has never been charged with misappropriation or mishandling of funds in the 1990 contract with the U.S. Government, and its resurrection and engagement in the 1996 contract has never been explained, in spite of the debacle of its ?security breach? of 1992. Was it held responsible for restitution of the full amount to the US Treasury? If not, why?

5.????What possible route were the IMO?s on which took them through the Philippines and who designated that route?

6.????Why were the IMO?s ordered destroyed in the Philippines instead of in the U.S. where their extinction should have been ?tracked? and the money restored to the U.S. Treasury in a transparent manner?

7.????How can money orders, which are prepaid banking instruments be ordered destroyed and by what authority?

8.????Much information which has surfaced indicates that the IMO?s were not destroyed in the Philippines in 1993/4, and many made their way to their designated recipients. So why has the government chosen not to honour them? How can we know if any or all the IMO?s were destroyed?

9.????Was an authority ever appointed by the government to establish a procedure or method for identification of valid, non-valid, or counterfeit IMO?s resulting from the so-called ?breach??

10.????To date, the only ?procedure? utilized by U.S. authorities for verification of the validity of the IMO?s, when forced to respond to inquiries, has been the acceptance of the opinion of two naive FBI agents and the glib statements offered by Bank of America officials who have an invested interest in seeing that the IMO?s are brought in without having to pay for them. Is there an authority able to provide a method or procedure for positive identification/verification which can be utilized for others seeking to verify them?

11.????The Controller?s Offices of the State of California, and the Comptroller of the Currency – Administrator of National Banks in Washington, D.C., have yet to respond with transparent and uncensored documentation despite numerous requests for information directed to them. Why?

12.????Could the money mentioned in the 1996 contract have been a way of ?recycling? the money from the 1990 contract? If so, who is the US Official who can vouch for this with clear and uncensored documentation?

13.???? If the first $ 700M which were allocated in 1990 were not recycled through the second (1996) contract, this means that $ 1.4 billion dollars is unaccounted for. Who is to answer for this money?

14.????Why has the Investigative Department of the California Controllers Office never responded to the Rome businessman?s offer to assist them in procuring information regarding the IMO?s still in circulation in Europe?

15.????In 2001, solicited by the businessman?s colleagues in the U.S., a spokesperson in the offices of both Senator Barbara Boxer and Senator Dianne Feinstein promised a Congressional???? investigation into the IMO?s. Why haven?t they followed through on this?

16.????The International Trading Holding, Co. of New York remains an enigma. What is known???? about this company aside from it?s being named in the 1996 contract (along with Security???? Pacific) as the handler of the $ 700M?

17.????What about the role of the National Bank of America? Certainly their records must show something.

18.????How can the U.S. Government explain that, in spite of Security Pacific National Bank?s disgraceful performance in 1992/3, and its ?absorption? by Bank of America in 1993, Security Pacific was awarded another contract in 1996 with a Company called International Trading Holding Co. of New York.????SPNB was to furnish banking instruments (IMO?s) for a total of $ 700 million dollars for ?commercial affairs directed towards humanitarian Purposes?. the money to be guaranteed by The National Bank of America with a commission of 4.8% to be paid to Security Pacific (Bank of America) for services rendered?????

19.????Was the 1996 contract really another assignment for Security Pacific or just a repeat of the old contract signed in 1990, a clever ?device? through which any money recuperated from confiscated IMO?s might be directed to other activities?

20.????Have the original $ 700 M allotted by the government in 1990 already been redirected to other (perhaps covert and/or secret) activities making it necessary for BofA and government officials to label the IMO?s as ?counterfeit? and to stage ?mock? arrests?

We invite you to read on if you?re interested in knowing more. Documentation and further details may be requested by contacting: [email protected]


I have ICJ for a Model UN Conference, I need to know what happened in the case. Thanks.
Detail is Appreciated.

Answer by Deelilah
Democratic Republic of Congo v Belgium: Arrest Warrant of 11 April 2000; Crimes against Humanity: ‘Immunity’ versus ‘Impunity’

Court: International Court of Justice, The Hague

Judges: 14 Judges of the International Court of Justice, plus two ad hoc judges appointed by Belgium and Congo

By Myint Zan[*]

On 14 February 2002 , the International Court of Justice (ICJ) located in the Hague, Netherlands announced its ruling that Foreign Ministers cannot be indicted by the courts of another nation and any arrest warrant issued by the courts or executive officials of one country against a Foreign Minister of another country is, in effect, a violation of international law. And this would be so even if the Foreign Minister in question had been formally indicted on grounds of ‘universal jurisdiction’ for crimes against humanity.[1]

In April 2000, a Belgian investigating judge issued an international arrest warrant against Mr Abdoulaye Yeordai Ndombasi who was, at that time, Foreign Affairs Minister of the Democratic Republic of Congo (the Congo). The Congo brought a suit against Belgium in the International Court of Justice asking it to declare that Belgium, by issuing the international arrest warrant, violated the legal obligation Belgium owes to the Congo and that Belgium must therefore cancel the arrest warrant.[2] The ICJ, by a vote of thirteen votes to three, held that the issuing of the arrest warrant and its international circulation did violate the Congo’s international legal rights. By ten votes to six, the ICJ also ruled that Belgium must ‘by means of its own choosing’ cancel the arrest warrant.[3]

By the time the case was argued before the ICJ, Mr Yerodai, the person in question was no longer the Foreign Minister of the Congo. On this ground Belgium tried to unsuccessfully argue before the ICJ that the case was ‘moot’. During the actual proceedings, the Congo also amended its initial complaint to challenge the assumption of ‘universal jurisdiction’ by the Belgian judge. Instead, the Congo based its sole argument on the ground that since the arrest warrant was directed -at the time of issue- against an incumbent Foreign Minister who is immune from the judicial process of other courts, Belgian was in breach of international law.

The Court, by a solid majority, accepted the Congo’s contention. It held that even in cases of persons accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity incumbent Minister of Foreign Affairs have, under the principles of customary international law, total immunity from another nation’s judicial processes. The Court observed that immunity from jurisdiction (by the courts of other nations) does not mean that government officials, including Foreign Ministers enjoy impunity in respect of any crimes they have committed irrespective of their gravity. It observed that ‘the immunities enjoyed under international law by an incumbent or former Minister of Foreign Affairs do not represent a bar to prosecution in certain circumstances’.[4]

There were dissenting opinions to what might be considered this ‘traditionalist’ ruling of the ICJ. Judge Al-Khasawneh (from Jordan)[5] dissented stating that “’the need for effective combating of grave crimes … represents a higher norm than the rules of immunity’ especially in cases of Foreign Ministers whose immunity under international law are not as clear or categorical as ‘the immunities of diplomats and Heads of States’.

Judge ad hoc[6] Van den Wyngaert (appointed by Belgium) wrote a long, indeed one could say a bitter dissenting opinion. She stated that ‘legal opinion does not support the Court’s proposition that Ministers for Foreign Affairs are immune from jurisdiction of other States under customary international law’ especially in the light of recent trends of restricting the ‘immunity of State officials (including Heads of State) … where there are allegations of war crimes and crimes against humanity’. She also stated that the ICJ by its ruling might have also afforded ‘de facto impunity to an increasing number of government officials’.[7]

By changing some of the actual events in the Milosevic trial that is occurring now in another court room in The Hague[8], a curiosity based on a ‘hypothetical’ could be extrapolated from this case ofCongo v Belgium. Slobodan Milosevic was indicted for war crimes and crimes against humanity by the United Nations ad hoc International Criminal Tribunal for Former Yugoslavia (ICTFY). The indictments -and later arrest warrants- were issued while Milosevic was President of Yugoslavia. Unlike the facts in Congo v Belgium, the indictments were not issued by an investigating judge and prosecutor in a sovereign State claiming ‘universal jurisdiction’ but by a prosecutor of an international tribunal relying on the Statute of the ICTFY.

Suppose that Belgium (and not a UN tribunal) had issued an arrest warrant against Milosevic. Suppose also that Yugoslavia had (like Congo in the

arrest warrant of 11 april 2000 case