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Contract Dispute With United Nations Could Lead to End of Diplomatic Immunity
Fox News ^ | 5/24/11 | Ed Barnes

Posted on 05/24/2011 1:38:45 PM PDT by markomalley

A federal judge in New York has issued an order that could lift the U.N.’s long-recognized diplomatic immunity in the United States involving contract disputes, opening the doors for claims of “hundreds of millions of dollars” against the world body, according to lawyers involved in the case.

Following a ruling by Judge P. Kevin Castel, both the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times on Wednesday will publish legal notices on behalf of Kahraman Sadikoglu, a Turkish billionaire businessman who is suing the U.N. Development Program (UNDP) for $150 million.

The notices are a legal substitute for the process of officially serving the lawsuit to U.N. officials, who have refused to accept the authority of U.S. courts in this and other legal matters.

Sadikoglu was hired by the UNDP to clear the Iraqi harbor of Um Qasr, Iraq’s largest port in 2003, so that supplies could be delivered to the war-shattered nation. He has fought since that time to be paid for the work, and according to his lawyers is suing now because the U.N. failed to honor the terms of a 2008 agreement that would have settled the matter.

“But when they learned that money would come from their own funds,” according to George G. Irving, Sadikoglu’s attorney at the time, “they just ignored him.” Most of the reconstruction funds had either come from American or Iraqi coffers.

According to Irving, who once worked in the Legal Affairs Office of the U.N. Secretary General, it could open up the floodgates for hundreds of similar lawsuits.

“It is not unusual for the U.N. to play these kinds of games with contractors. They try to frustrate them at every turn so they give up and go away,” he said....

(Excerpt) Read more at foxnews.com ...


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Government
KEYWORDS: immunity; nyc; taxes; un
Of course, we will expect the Obama Regime to step in immediately.

The easiest solution, though, to preserve the diplomatic immunity of the UN would be to relocate them to Switzerland. And then for the US to resign.

1 posted on 05/24/2011 1:38:48 PM PDT by markomalley
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To: markomalley

Diplomatic Immunity.....laws are for thee but not for me....


2 posted on 05/24/2011 1:42:57 PM PDT by ScreamingFist (Quiet the Idiot)
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To: markomalley

Suing the UN and winning is like suing the cops.

Even if you win, taxpayers get screwed.

Just kick out the UN and have them move HQ to Haiti.


3 posted on 05/24/2011 1:44:59 PM PDT by WOBBLY BOB ( "I don't want the majority if we don't stand for something"- Jim Demint)
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To: markomalley

“The easiest solution, though, to preserve the diplomatic immunity of the UN would be to relocate them to Switzerland. And then for the US to resign.”

AMEN.


4 posted on 05/24/2011 1:45:36 PM PDT by Rumplemeyer
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To: markomalley

Nobody should have diplomatic immunity. When we peons travel to foreign countries we are expected to obey the local laws and we get punished for breaking them. Why should foriegn diplomats enjoy such a broad exemption?


5 posted on 05/24/2011 1:49:15 PM PDT by pnh102 (Regarding liberalism, always attribute to malice what you think can be explained by stupidity. - Me)
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To: markomalley

I totally agree that the UN and UN bureaucrats are disgusting, but I’m betting that the intelligence information we get from that operation outweighs the negatives.

I have nothing to base this upon but common sense.


6 posted on 05/24/2011 1:50:51 PM PDT by Gothmog (I fight for Xev)
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To: markomalley
The guy definitely should be paid by these deadbeats...

Sadikoglu’s story was one of the rare cases of early reconstruction in Iraq actually working. Originally hired by Saddam Hussein to clear Um Qasr of wreckage from the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq War, Sadikoglu’s work was suspended because of U.N. sanctions against Saddam and other problems. But he was asked to continue with the project by UNDP after the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq forced Saddam from power.

The project was massive. Nineteen sunken ships had to be cleared from the harbor, cut up and sold for salvage. Sadikoglu brought in nine of his own ships to house the recovery crews and perform the work. Despite the chaos and terror of the early years of the invasion, Sadikoglu was able to raise the ships and open the harbor.

Officials from the Coalition Provisional Authority, who had oversight of the port at the time, said Sadikoglu not only completed the work on time, but managed to meet the changing demands of the UNDP as the work progressed. They, too, said they cannot understand why he was never paid.

7 posted on 05/24/2011 1:54:52 PM PDT by Virginia Ridgerunner (Sarah Palin has crossed the Rubicon!)
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To: pnh102

It has more to do with diplomatic staff and such. You don’t want an embassy worker get jailed for being the wrong religion (as they could be in some coutries).


8 posted on 05/24/2011 1:57:10 PM PDT by redgolum ("God is dead" -- Nietzsche. "Nietzsche is dead" -- God.)
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To: knighthawk
US out of the UN
UN out of the US
9 posted on 05/24/2011 2:01:30 PM PDT by NonValueAdded (I asked the bartender for a bin Ladin, she said 'what's that? I said 'two shots then a splash.')
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To: pnh102

“Nobody should have diplomatic immunity.”


Speak for yourself. I, for one, would never agree to serve in a U.S. embassy in any country (particularly one without Western values) unless I knew that they couldn’t throw me in jail for 30 years for eating a cheeseburger or “insulting the Prophet” or something.

But in this case it isn’t a diplomat that is claiming immunity from criminal laws of a foreign country, it is an international agency that is claiming that it doesn’t have to pay its bills, which is absolutely outrageous.


10 posted on 05/24/2011 2:03:16 PM PDT by AuH2ORepublican (If a politician won't protect innocent babies, what makes you think that he'll protect your rights?)
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To: redgolum
Good point. Diplomatic immunity -- unpopular though it might be -- has a purpose in a legal system. Without such immunity in place, nobody in their right mind would ever want to serve in a diplomatic capacity even in many friendly countries.

Diplomatic immunity is not all that different than Article I, Section 6 of the U.S. Constitution, which protects members of Congress from arrest while traveling to and from a Congressional session.

11 posted on 05/24/2011 2:07:14 PM PDT by Alberta's Child ("If you touch my junk, I'm gonna have you arrested.")
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To: markomalley
I think this article garbles different concepts.

It is diplomats, i.e. people, who get diplomatic immunity, not agencies.

The issue is whether UNDP is entitled to sovereign immunity. Generally, governments aren't immune from suits when they enter into private, commercial contracts.

So, this suit would not appear to have the effect of changing the law.

12 posted on 05/24/2011 2:14:01 PM PDT by colorado tanker
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To: AuH2ORepublican
But in this case it isn’t a diplomat that is claiming immunity from criminal laws of a foreign country, it is an international agency that is claiming that it doesn’t have to pay its bills, which is absolutely outrageous.

I think it's a little more complicated than that, and in one respect I'm on the side of the U.N. in this case. The question comes down to this: What court actually has jurisdiction in a situation like this? If the facts of the case are as described in this article, then I fail to see how the U.S. court system has any jurisdiction in the matter. This should be adjudicated in an Iraqi court or an international legal body (the World Court?). It appears that neither the U.S. government nor a U.S. citizen or company was ever a party to this guy's contract, so I fail to see what role a U.S. court should play here other than as a place with the best odds for the plaintiff before a sympathetic judge/jury.

13 posted on 05/24/2011 2:16:29 PM PDT by Alberta's Child ("If you touch my junk, I'm gonna have you arrested.")
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To: Alberta's Child

>>I fail to see what role a U.S. court should play here <<

The UN is headquartered in the US. Obey our laws or get out.


14 posted on 05/24/2011 2:50:28 PM PDT by B4Ranch (Allowing Islam into America is akin to injecting yourself with AIDS to prove how tolerant you are..)
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To: Alberta's Child

If the contract was signed in New York, by a UN agency with its main office in New York, I would think that the counterparty could file suit in New York (unless the contract had a Choice of Law or Choice of Venue provision that said otherwise).

But if this guy is suing under the Alien Tort Relief Act or some other law that has been illegaly interpreted to have long-arm application (so as to cover torts commited in a foreign country by one foreigner against a second foreigner), then I agree with you.


15 posted on 05/24/2011 2:53:53 PM PDT by AuH2ORepublican (If a politician won't protect innocent babies, what makes you think that he'll protect your rights?)
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To: markomalley

HA! Good! Most of them have enough scofflaw parking violations alone to lock them away for a decade or two...


16 posted on 05/24/2011 3:08:23 PM PDT by Buckeye McFrog
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To: markomalley
The United Nations is the definitive oxymoron, a thieves paradise, and a cesspool of incompetence.

Regards,
GtG

17 posted on 05/24/2011 3:08:23 PM PDT by Gandalf_The_Gray (I live in my own little world, I like it 'cuz they know me here.)
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To: markomalley

Here is what I hope happens:

*Sadikoglu wins a judgment for full payment plus penalties and interest against the UN.

*When the UN fails to pay, he enforces his judgment and forces the liquidation of the UN, causing the property and furniture to be sold off to the highest bidder(s).

*A Republican House and Senate pass legislation freezing all further payment to the UN for its gross malfeasance, and cancelling our membership.

*President Cain eagerly signs the legislation at a ceremony in front of the former UN headuarters, at which he gives a speech touting our renewed commitment to preserving American national sovereignty, and expounding on the evils of giving up national sovereignty to a world government.


18 posted on 05/24/2011 3:21:48 PM PDT by Maceman
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To: AuH2ORepublican

“I, for one, would never agree to serve in a U.S. embassy in any country (particularly one without Western values) unless I knew that they couldn’t throw me in jail for 30 years for eating a cheeseburger or “insulting the Prophet” or something.”

An understandable sentiment. I think it is time we were frank about this and close down embassies anyplace where those things could happen to an ambassador.


19 posted on 05/24/2011 4:57:34 PM PDT by kearnyirish2
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To: B4Ranch
I see no indication that "our laws" have anything to do with the dispute at hand. This guy had a contract with Saddam Hussein's government in Iraq, and later amended with the provisional government in Iraq after Hussein's government was toppled in 2003.

The more I think about this, the more ridiculous it becomes to me. This plaintiff is filing a lawsuit in U.S. Federal court over a legal dispute related to a contract he signed more than ten years ago in another country . . . and the payments he was supposed to receive were probably denominated in Iraqi dinars, not U.S. dollars. How the hell would a U.S. court even know how to award damages in a case like that?

20 posted on 05/24/2011 8:11:05 PM PDT by Alberta's Child ("If you touch my junk, I'm gonna have you arrested.")
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To: markomalley; Rumplemeyer

“...relocate them to Switzerland...”

The Swiss don’t want them...how about Paris or Brussels?


21 posted on 05/24/2011 8:36:19 PM PDT by GGpaX4DumpedTea (I am a tea party descendant - steeped in the Constitutional legacy handed down by the Founders)
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To: Tom Jefferson; backhoe; BARLF; timestax; imintrouble; cake_crumb; Brad's Gramma; MizSterious; ...
No more UN for US-list

If people want on or off this list, please let me know.

22 posted on 05/26/2011 3:43:17 AM PDT by knighthawk (We will always remember We will always be proud We will always be prepared so we may always be free)
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To: knighthawk

I scanned the body of the thread, and my simple opinion is that...it’s a start!

Thanks, knighthawk! ;o)


23 posted on 05/27/2011 12:00:25 AM PDT by dixiechick2000 (Age, skill, wisdom, and a little treachery always overcome youth and arrogance!)
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