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Malaysia asked why Mugabe’s doctor was placed on US sanctions list

Malaysia’s senior Under Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs responsible for the Americas and the European Union Zainuddin Yahya asked a United States diplomat why Washington had imposed sanctions on a Malaysian doctor, Mahmood Awang Kechik, who served as a physician for President Robert Mugabe.

Zainuddin asked if the US had designated Mahmood because of his provision of medical services to Mugabe or because he shipped medical equipment to Zimbabwe arguing that neither action would seem to justify sanctions.

The diplomat assured Zainuddin that the sanctions were not related to Mahmood’s role as a physician and that related shipments of equipment to Zimbabwe were not innocent commercial transactions but involved corrupt practices.

He went on to seek clarification, adding that “our ability to adequately explain the decision on Mahmood is important, not because of this individual case, but because it has bearing on the credibility of other US current and potential sanctions determinations unrelated to the situation in Zimbabwe”.

 

Full cable:


Viewing cable 08KUALALUMPUR1056, GOM QUESTIONS DESIGNATION OF MALAYSIAN DOCTOR AS

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Reference ID

Created

Classification

Origin

08KUALALUMPUR1056

2008-12-02 09:01

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Kuala Lumpur

VZCZCXYZ0001

PP RUEHWEB

 

DE RUEHKL #1056 3370901

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

P 020901Z DEC 08

FM AMEMBASSY KUALA LUMPUR

TO RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY

RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2050

INFO RUEHBK/AMEMBASSY BANGKOK PRIORITY 3393

RUEHSB/AMEMBASSY HARARE PRIORITY 0020

RUEHGP/AMEMBASSY SINGAPORE PRIORITY 4585

RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L KUALA LUMPUR 001056

 

SIPDIS

 

STATE FOR EAP/MTS AND AF/S

TREASURY FOR OFAC

SINGAPORE PASS TO SUSAN BAKER

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/02/2018

TAGS: PREL EFIN ZI MY

SUBJECT: GOM QUESTIONS DESIGNATION OF MALAYSIAN DOCTOR AS

MUGABE CRONY

 

REF: TREASURY PRESS RELEASE OF 25 NOV 2008

 

Classified By: Political Counselor Mark D. Clark for reason 1.4 (b and

d).

 

1. (C) Malaysian Foreign Ministry Senior Under Secretary

(Americas, EU) Zainuddin Yahya called in Polcouns for a

November 28 meeting and raised questions concerning press

reports that the U.S. had imposed sanctions on a Malaysian

doctor, Mahmood Awang Kechik, who served as a physician for

Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe. After reviewing the

Treasury press release of November 25, which we provided,

Zainuddin asked if the U.S. had designated Mahmood because of

his provision of medical services to Mugabe or because he

shipped medical equipment to Zimbabwe. Neither action would

seem to justify sanctions, Zainuddin said. Polcouns assured

Zainuddin that the sanctions were not related to Mahmood’s

role as a physician and that related shipments of equipment

to Zimbabwe were not innocent commercial transactions but

involved corrupt practices. Polcouns promised to provide

further information on Mahmood if and when this became

available. Zainuddin said the Foreign Ministry may encourage

Mahmood to approach the Embassy with information “to clear

his name.”

 

2. (C) Action request: Beyond the wording in the initial

press release and general documents on the Mugabe sanctions,

Embassy requests cleared language that further characterizes

Mahmood’s actions related to the OFAC designation without

going into sensitive details. Our ability to adequately

explain the decision on Mahmood is important, not because of

this individual case, but because it has bearing on the

credibility of other U.S. current and potential sanctions

determinations unrelated to the situation in Zimbabwe.

KEITH

 

(15 VIEWS)

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