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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
03ZAGREB1297 2003-06-06 16:50:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Zagreb
Cable title:  

ICTY/CROATIA: GOC AGAIN BACKSLIDING ON COOPERATION?

Tags:   PREL PGOV KAWC HR ICTY UN 
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					  C O N F I D E N T I A L  ZAGREB 001297 

SIPDIS


STATE FOR EUR/SCE AND S/WCI
THE HAGUE FOR JOHNSON/KAYE/WHEATON

E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/06/2013
TAGS: PREL PGOV KAWC HR ICTY UN
SUBJECT: ICTY/CROATIA: GOC AGAIN BACKSLIDING ON COOPERATION?
REF: A. ZAGREB 1165 (NOTAL)


B. ZAGREB 925

C. ZAGREB 867

Classified By: Poloff Rob Silberstein, REASON 1.5 (B) AND (D)

Summary
------



1. (C) ICTY Zagreb ResRep Thomas Osorio told us June 5 that
the GOC is failing to deliver on a number of commitments PM
Racan gave Chief Prosecutor del Ponte during her mid-April
visit to Zagreb. Census information was incomplete,
assistance to gain access to bank records on GOC financial
support to breakaway Croats in Bosnia has not been
forthcoming and the OTP still is in the dark regarding the
circumstances surrounding the arrest of ICTY fugitive PIFWC
Ivica Rajic in Split. Osorio told us not to expect any new
Croatia indictments soon; del Ponte has decided to hold off
until she has accumulated a package of 3-5 indictments that
she can deliver to the GOC at one time. GOC backsliding on
its ICTY obligations is no surprise, but it did not help that
del Ponte took the pressure off by waxing so strongly about
"improved" GOC cooperation during her visit in April. End
Summary.



2. (C) In a meeting June 5, ICTY Zagreb ResRep Thomas Osorio
told us that, although there was a surge in cooperation
immediately after the visit of OTP Chief Prosecutor del Ponte
to Zagreb in mid-April, since then the GOC has failed to
follow through on many of its commitments. Of greatest
concern to the OTP is the GOC's failure to provide useable
census data, one of the major points of discussion between PM
Racan and del Ponte in April (ref c). (Inter alia, the OTP
requires these data to demonstrate Serbian ethnic cleansing
in Croatia in the Milosevic trial.) During the del Ponte
visit, Racan reportedly instructed the GOC to comply with the
OTP's requests, over the objections of Deputy Prime Minister
Goran Granic. Shortly thereafter, the GOC provided the OTP
with what it asserted was a complete package of data on the
2001 census.



3. (C) Osorio told us that, after careful analysis of the
data, the OTP determined that it was inadequate. Not only
were vital information elements of the census database
withheld, approximately 340,000 census records were excluded
completely. On May 29, Deputy Prosecutor Blewitt (del Ponte
was in Rwanda) wrote a strongly worded letter to PM Racan
stating that the GOC's failure to provide the census data was
a clear failure in cooperation. Blewitt requested immediate
intervention to provide the requested data.



4. (C) According to Osorio, the GOC also has failed to meet
other commitments it made to del Ponte in April:

-- The GOC has yet to provide the promised assistance to
secure access to Privredna Banka records detailing Croatian
financial transfers to the para-state of Herceg-Bosna during
the war.

-- It has failed to certify that the 1000 pages of documents
from former Defense Minister Susak's personal files that the
GOC provided in early May represented the entire collection.
Osorio told us that there is reason to believe that the GOC
submission is incomplete. OTP analysis of the Susak papers
suggests the existence of more documents. Additionally, the
number of pages that the GOC declared to the OTP varied from
1000 to over 1300. (Head of the GOC Office for Cooperation
with ICTY, Frane Krnic, told the Ambassador in March that
there were 1156 pages in the Susak collection.)

-- It has not provided the OTP with any information on the
arrest of ICTY PIFWC Ivica Rajic and on the investigation
into the illegal PIFWC protection network that the HDZ
government established (ref b), even though Racan explicitly
promised del Ponte that this information would be forthcoming.



5. (C) Osorio said that the only silver lining in ICTY's
relationship with Croatia is the excellent cooperation
provided by Croatian Chief Prosecutor Mladen Bajic. The OTP
recently handed over to Bajic 11 boxes of physical evidence
that the ICTY collected in the Paulin Dvor war crimes case
that Bajic is pursuing. (The Osijek court is about to begin
the trial of two retired Croatian Army officials for their

role in the murder of 18 ethnic Serbs and one
ethnic-Hungarian in the town of Paulin Dvor in Eastern
Slavonia. Slavko Zadnik, one of Bajic's deputies, tells us
that another six persons may be indicted for the crime.
Others, including former HDZ intelligence and government
officials may be indicted for covering-up the crime.)

No new indictments soon


--------------------------





6. (C) Osorio said that del Ponte did not sign and forward
any new indictments to the ICTY judge for approval prior to
her departure on a three week trip to Rwanda in late May.
According to Osorio, del Ponte has decided to wait until all
Croatia indictments are ready. Her plan is to deliver a
package of 3-5 indictments at one time to "minimize the
political shock on the GOC" (for more detail on the potential
new indictments see ref a). Osorio said that the net result
is that we should not anticipate any new Croatian indictments
any time soon.

Comment


--------------------------





7. (C) No surprises here: the brief GOC-OTP honeymoon after
del Ponte's mid-April visit to Zagreb is over. The Croatian
Government has returned to its disappointing but familiar
routine of shirking cooperation once the pressure is off.
While the GOC clearly deserves the lion's share of the blame
for not delivering fully and consistently on its ICTY
commitments, del Ponte also bears some responsibility for her
rollercoaster public relations approach. In April, del Ponte
was all sweetness and light, announcing that "a very positive
development of cooperation had been achieved." Less than two
months later the OTP is again complaining that the GOC has
failed to live up to its commitments. Under such
circumstances it would not be surprising if the press -- and
even some of her IC supporters -- might begin to question del
Ponte's credibility.
ROSSIN
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