wikileaks ico  Home papers ico  Cables mirror and Afghan War Diary privacy policy  Privacy
IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
03ZAGREB470 2003-03-04 18:25:00 SECRET Embassy Zagreb
Cable title:  

OTP BOMBAST ON GOTOVINA / CROATIAN NON-COOPERATION

Tags:   KAWC PGOV PREL HR ICTY 
pdf how-to read a cable
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
					  S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 03 ZAGREB 000470 

SIPDIS

C O R R E C T E D COPY (ADDING PRISTINA)

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

E.O. 12958: DECL: 1.6X6: 5 YEARS AFTER CLOSURE OF ICTY
SECRET

PAGE 02 ZAGREB 00470 01 OF 03 052218Z
TAGS: KAWC PGOV PREL PGOV PREL PGOV PREL HR HRKAWC ICTY
SUBJECT: OTP BOMBAST ON GOTOVINA / CROATIAN NON-COOPERATION
ON DOCUMENT SHARING

REF: ZAGREB 305

CLASSIFIED BY: POLOFF ROBERT SILBERSTEIN, REASON 1.6 (X6)

SUMMARY
-------



1. (S) THOMAS OSORIO (STRICTLY PROTECT), HEAD OF ICTY'S
ZAGREB OFFICE, TOLD US MARCH 4 THAT RECENT STATEMENTS BY OTP
SPOKESPERSON HARTMANN AND OTP POLITICAL ADVISOR JORIS
LAMBASTING THE GOC FOR ITS FAILURE TO CAPTURE ICTY INDICTEE
ANTE GOTOVINA WERE "UNPROFESSIONAL." OSORIO TOLD US THAT HE
HAS SEEN NO CREDIBLE EVIDENCE TO SUPPORT RECENT OTP CLAIMS
THAT GOTOVINA IS "MOVING FREELY" IN CROATIA. ACCORDING TO
OSORIO, THE OTP WAS PREPARED CITE THE GOC FOR NON-COMPLIANCE
ON TECHNICAL GROUNDS IF CROATIA DID NOT SERVE THE ICTY
INDICTMENT TO GENERAL BOBETKO, EVEN THOUGH THE ICTY JUDGE WAS
SET TO RULE THAT THE GENERAL'S HEALTH PRECLUDED A TRIAL.
WHILE THE OTP'S FRUSTRATION IS UNDERSTANDABLE, MISMANAGEMENT
OF THE GOTOVINA CASE AND PILING ON OVER BOBETKO UNDERCUTS THE
ICTY'S CREDIBILITY WITH ITS ALLIES AND STRENGTHENS THE HAND
OF REJECTIONISTS JUST AS THE TRIBUNAL ENTERS A PERIOD OF
INCREASING TENSION WITH THE GOC OVER NON-COMPLIANCE WITH
DOCUMENT REQUESTS RELATED TO CROATIA'S INVOLVEMENT IN BOSNIA
DURING THE WAR.
END SUMMARY.
SECRET

PAGE 03 ZAGREB 00470 01 OF 03 052218Z

ANOTHER INTEMPERATE BLAST FROM THE OTP


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





2. (C) IN SEPARATE MEDIA INTERVIEWS ON FEBRUARY 27 AND 28,
OTP SPOKESPERSON FLORENCE HARTMANN AND OTP POLITICAL ADVISOR
JEAN-JAQUES JORIS ISSUED STATEMENTS SAYING THAT ICTY INDICTEE
ANTE GOTOVINA WAS "MOVING FREELY IN CROATIA," AND THAT THE
GOC FAILED TO USE THE NUMEROUS OPPORTUNITIES IT HAD TO CATCH
THE FUGITIVE. JORIS WENT ON TO ADD THAT THE OTP HAD PROVIDED
"EVIDENCE" TO THE GOC ON GOTOVINA, BUT YET THE GOC FAILED TO
ACT. BOTH HARTMANN AND JORIS ALSO OPENLY CRITICIZED CROATIAN
COOPERATION ON DOCUMENT SHARING, HIGHLIGHTING SPECIFICALLY
ITS FAILURE TO DELIVER BOSNIA-RELATED DOCUMENTS DESPITE
NUMEROUS ICTY REQUESTS.



3. (C) ON MARCH 3, WE MET WITH CROATIAN POLICE DIRECTOR RANKO
OSTOJIC TO DISCUSS THE GOTOVINA CASE. OSTOJIC REPEATED HIS
MANTRA THAT THE POLICE FAITHFULLY FOLLOW UP ON EVERY LEAD,
BUT ACTIONABLE EVIDENCE HAS NEVER BEEN PROVIDED (OR DEVELOPED
BY THE CROATIANS). A SPECIAL POLICE UNIT HAS GOTOVINA'S
FAMILY AND CLOSE ASSOCIATES UNDER SURVEILLANCE. OSTOJIC,
HOWEVER, CATEGORICALLY REFUTED JORIS' CHARGE ON GOTOVINA.
NEITHER HE, NOR AMBASSADOR KRNIC, THE HEAD OF THE GOC OFFICE
FOR COOPERATION WITH ICTY, WHO RECENTLY VISITED THE HAGUE ON
CONSULTATIONS, HAD RECEIVED ANY INFORMATION FROM THE OTP ON
GOTOVINA'S WHEREABOUTS.



4. (SBU) PUBLICLY, THE GOC HAS DENIED THAT THERE IS ANY BREAK
IN CROATIA'S COOPERATION WITH THE ICTY. PRIME MINISTER RACAN
COMMENTED THAT, "FOR VARIOUS REASONS," PEOPLE ARE ATTEMPTING
SECRET

PAGE 04 ZAGREB 00470 01 OF 03 052218Z
"TO FABRICATE" A CONFLICT BETWEEN ICTY AND THE GOC.

OTP NOT PROFESSIONAL


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





5. (S) IN LIGHT OF THE WAR OF WORDS BETWEEN THE OTP AND THE
GOC, THE APPARENT DISCONNECT BETWEEN THE OTP AND THE GOC OVER
INFORMATION SHARING AND OUR CONCERNS -- EXPRESSED REFTEL --
THAT THE OTP DOES NOT HAVE A COHERENT STRATEGY FOR DEALING
WITH CROATIA, WE MET MARCH 4 WITH ICTY ZAGREB OFFICE HEAD
THOMAS OSORIO (STRICTLY PROTECT THROUGHOUT). WHILE CALLING
THE OTP'S HANDLING OF THE GOTOVINA CASE AMATEURISH, OSORIO
CONFIRMED THAT THE OTP'S COMPLAINTS ABOUT GOC DOCUMENT
SHARING ARE VALID AND ARE REACHING CRISIS LEVELS.



6. (S) ON GOTOVINA, THE OTP IS ITS OWN WORST ENEMY, OSORIO
SAID. AS FAR AS HE KNOWS, THERE IS NO NEW CREDIBLE
INFORMATION AVAILABLE DEMONSTRATING GOTOVINA'S PRESENCE IN
CROATIA. THERE WERE REPORTED SIGHTINGS OF GOTOVINA IN ZAGREB
AROUND CHRISTMAS. HOWEVER, THE OTI INVESTIGATORS, WHO
DEVELOPED THE LEAD FROM INTERVIEWS WITH OTHER CROATIAN WAR
CRIMES SUSPECTS, ONLY PROVIDED THE INFORMATION TO THE
CROATIAN POLICE WELL AFTER THE FACT. BY THAT TIME, THE LEAD
-- IF INDEED IT EVER WAS CREDIBLE -- HAD GONE STALE. THIS
ERROR WAS PART OF A CONTINUING TREND AMONG OTP OFFICIALS WHO

SECRET

SECRET PTQ5115

PAGE 01 ZAGREB 00470 02 OF 03 052222Z
ACTION SWCI-00

INFO LOG-00 COR-01 NP-00 AF-00 AID-00 AMAD-00 CIAE-00
INL-00 USNW-00 DODE-00 DOEE-00 PERC-00 SRPP-00 DS-00
EAP-00 EUR-00 FBIE-00 VC-00 IPS-01 TEDE-00 INR-00
IO-00 LAB-01 L-00 VCE-00 AC-01 NSAE-00 NSCE-00
OIC-02 OMB-01 PA-00 PM-00 PRS-00 ACE-00 P-00
SCT-00 SP-00 SSO-00 TRSE-00 USIE-00 PMB-00 DSCC-00
PRM-00 DRL-01 G-00 NFAT-00 SAS-00 /008W


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

3FB428 052223Z /38
O 041825Z MAR 03
FM AMEMBASSY ZAGREB
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9595
INFO AMEMBASSY LONDON IMMEDIATE
AMEMBASSY MOSCOW IMMEDIATE
AMEMBASSY SARAJEVO IMMEDIATE
AMEMBASSY THE HAGUE IMMEDIATE
USMISSION USUN NEW YORK IMMEDIATE
USMISSION USNATO IMMEDIATE
USOFFICE PRISTINA IMMEDIATE

S E C R E T SECTION 02 OF 03 ZAGREB 000470

SIPDIS

C O R R E C T E D COPY (ADDING PRISTINA)

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

E.O. 12958: DECL: 1.6X6: 5 YEARS AFTER CLOSURE OF ICTY
SECRET

PAGE 02 ZAGREB 00470 02 OF 03 052222Z
TAGS: KAWC PGOV PREL PGOV PREL PGOV PREL HR HRKAWC ICTY
SUBJECT: OTP BOMBAST ON GOTOVINA / CROATIAN NON-COOPERATION
ON DOCUMENT SHARING

REFUSE TO VERIFY INFORMATION WITH THE LOCAL ZAGREB OFFICE
WHICH HAS BEEN COORDINATING THE GOTOVINA INVESTIGATION WITH
THE CROATIAN POLICE FROM THE OUTSET. INSTEAD, OTI
INVESTIGATORS PASS ON THOSE ERRONEOUS, STALE OR CIRCULAR
LEADS TO JORIS, HARTMANN AND DEL PONTE AS FACT. OSORIO SAID
THAT HE URGENTLY CONTACTED OTP ADVISOR ANTON NIKIFOROV TO
INTERCEDE WITH HARTMANN AND JORIS TO CORRECT THE RECORD. HE
ALSO ASKED THAT NIKOFOROV ENSURE THAT ANY FUTURE STATEMENTS
ON GOTOVINA ARE SUPPORTED BY INCONTROVERTIBLE FACT.

DOCUMENT SHARING: REAL GOC "NON-COMPLIANCE"?


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





7. (S) OSORIO SAYS THAT THE OTP VIEW OF CROATIAN COOPERATION
ON DOCUMENT SHARING HAS CHANGED DRAMATICALLY FOR THE WORSE
SINCE LAST OCTOBER, WHEN DEL PONTE TOLD THE UNSC THAT SHE WAS
SATISFIED WITH CROATIAN COOPERATION. OVER THE PAST FEW
MONTHS, THE OTP HAS CONDUCTED A COMPREHENSIVE INFORMATION
AUDIT AND HAS DETERMINED THAT THE GOC IS SUBSTANTIALLY
LAGGING IN RESPONDING TO DOCUMENT REQUESTS ON A WIDE RANGE OF
ISSUES. AS REPORTED REFTEL, THE MAJOR GOC FAILING CONTINUES
TO BE THE PROVISION OF DOCUMENTS ON CROATIAN INVOLVEMENT IN
THE WAR IN BOSNIA.



8. (S) WE ASKED OSORIO TO ADDRESS THE CROATIAN ARGUMENT, NOW
BANDIED IN THE LOCAL MEDIA, THAT OTP DOCUMENT REQUESTS ARE
TOO BROAD. OSORIO SAID THAT SUCH CHARGES ARE FALSE.
SECRET

PAGE 03 ZAGREB 00470 02 OF 03 052222Z
INVESTIGATORS ARE PUTTING TOGETHER THE FINAL PIECES OF THEIR
CASES AND KNOW EXACTLY WHAT THEY ARE LOOKING FOR, HE SAID.
IN THE CASE OF THE BOSNIA, REQUESTS ARE VERY DETAILED, EVEN
TO THE POINT WHERE INVESTIGATORS ARE SEEKING SPECIFIC
TRANSCRIPTS OF CONVERSATIONS OF PRESIDENT TUDJMAN AND
THEN-DEFENSE MINISTER GOJKO SUSAK FROM 1993. THESE
TRANSCRIPTS REPORTEDLY SHOW TUDJMAN DECIDING WHICH OFFICIALS
SHOULD BE APPOINTED TO THE CROATIAN PARA-GOVERNMENT OF
HERCEG-BOSNA AND ORDERING SPECIFIC UNITS OF THE CROATIAN
MILITARY (HV) TO ENTER AND FIGHT IN BOSNIA. ACCORDING TO
OSORIO, IN ONE CASE, THE TRIBUNAL HAS A COPY OF SUCH A
TRANSCRIPT AND MERELY ARE SEEKING A CERTIFIED COPY FOR
EVIDENTIARY PURPOSES. OSORIO SAID THAT THE GOC ALSO HAS
FAILED TO PROVIDE BANK RECORDS RELATED TO THE TRANSFER OF
FUNDING THROUGH PRIVREDNA BANKA TO SUPPORT HV AND HVO
OPERATIONS IN BOSNIA.



9. (S) ON JANUARY 30, DEL PONTE WROTE A LETTER TO DEPUTY
PREMIER GORAN GRANIC, IN WHICH, ACCORDING TO OSORIO, THE ICTY
CHIEF PROSECUTOR READ THE GOC "THE RIOT ACT." THE LETTER
STATES THAT THE OTP IS "CONCERNED AND DISAPPOINTED" THAT
DOCUMENTS "ARE BEING WITHHELD" AND THAT CROATIA IS "NOT IN
COMPLIANCE" WITH ITS UNSC AND DAYTON OBLIGATIONS ON THE
PROVISION OF BIH DOCUMENTATION. THE JANUARY 30 LETTER STATES
THAT IF THE GOC DOES NOT HAND OVER THE DOCUMENTS IN QUESTION
BY APRIL 4, THE OTP WILL REQUEST THAT A JUDGE SUBPOENA THEM.
THE OTP ALSO WILL ASK THE JUDGE TO ISSUE A SEARCH WARRANT,
ARMED WITH WHICH ICTY OFFICIALS WOULD APPROACH PRIVREDNA
BANKA TO OPEN ITS ARCHIVES. ADDITIONALLY, THE OTP WILL
PETITION THE JUDGE TO SUBPOENA THE GOC -- EITHER GRANIC OR
KRNIC -- TO EXPLAIN TO THE TRIBUNAL CROATIAN NON-COMPLIANCE.
SECRET

PAGE 04 ZAGREB 00470 02 OF 03 052222Z
THE ACT OF SUBPOENAING WOULD TRIGGER A REPORT OF
NON-COMPLIANCE TO THE UNSC, OSORIO ADDED.



10. (S) GRANIC REPLIED TO DEL PONTE IN MID-FEBRUARY,
AFFIRMING THAT THE GOC WOULD MAKE ITS "BEST EFFORT" TO FIND
THE DOCUMENTS IN QUESTION, BUT SOME DOCUMENTS "DID NOT
EXIST." OTHER DOCUMENTS WOULD NOT BE "EASY TO FIND" BECAUSE
THE INFORMATION THAT THE OTP PROVIDED WAS NOT SPECIFIC
ENOUGH. WITH REGARD TO THE BANK DOCUMENTS, GRANIC SAID THAT
GOC EFFORTS TO PROVIDE THE DOCUMENTS WERE COMPLICATED BY
CROATIAN BANK SECRECY LAWS.



11. (S) WHILE OSORIO COULD NOT CONFIRM WHY THE GOC WAS
WITHHOLDING THE DOCUMENTS -- IT IS COMMON KNOWLEDGE THAT HV
UNITS FOUGHT IN BOSNIA DURING THE WAR -- OSORIO AGREED WITH
US THAT ONE POSSIBLE MOTIVE COULD BE GOC FEAR THAT THE
DOCUMENTS WOULD CONFIRM DIRECT CROATIAN INTERVENTION IN
BOSNIA FROM THE OUTSET OF THE WAR AS WELL AS THE INTENTION OF
PRESIDENT TUDJMAN TO CARVE OUT OF BOSNIA AN ETHNICALLY PURE
INDEPENDENT CROATIAN ENTITY. OSORIO BELIEVED THESE FACTS
WOULD PROVIDE SUFFICIENT BASIS FOR THE GOBIH TO FILE A STRONG
SUIT AGAINST CROATIA FOR WAR REPARATIONS BEFORE THE
INTERNATIONAL COURT OF JUSTICE.

BOBETKO CASE STILL SIMMERING

SECRET

SECRET PTQ5124

PAGE 01 ZAGREB 00470 03 OF 03 052224Z
ACTION SWCI-00

INFO LOG-00 COR-01 NP-00 AF-00 AID-00 AMAD-00 CIAE-00
INL-00 USNW-00 DODE-00 DOEE-00 PERC-00 SRPP-00 DS-00
EAP-00 EUR-00 FBIE-00 VC-00 IPS-01 TEDE-00 INR-00
IO-00 LAB-01 L-00 VCE-00 AC-01 NSAE-00 NSCE-00
OIC-02 OMB-01 PA-00 PM-00 PRS-00 ACE-00 P-00
SCT-00 SP-00 SSO-00 TRSE-00 USIE-00 PMB-00 DSCC-00
PRM-00 DRL-01 G-00 NFAT-00 SAS-00 /008W


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

3FB45A 052224Z /38
O 041825Z MAR 03
FM AMEMBASSY ZAGREB
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9596
INFO AMEMBASSY LONDON IMMEDIATE
AMEMBASSY MOSCOW IMMEDIATE
AMEMBASSY SARAJEVO IMMEDIATE
AMEMBASSY THE HAGUE IMMEDIATE
USMISSION USUN NEW YORK IMMEDIATE
USMISSION USNATO IMMEDIATE
USOFFICE PRISTINA IMMEDIATE

S E C R E T SECTION 03 OF 03 ZAGREB 000470

SIPDIS

C O R R E C T E D COPY (ADDING PRISTINA)

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

E.O. 12958: DECL: 1.6X6: 5 YEARS AFTER CLOSURE OF ICTY
SECRET

PAGE 02 ZAGREB 00470 03 OF 03 052224Z
TAGS: KAWC PGOV PREL PGOV PREL PGOV PREL HR HRKAWC ICTY
SUBJECT: OTP BOMBAST ON GOTOVINA / CROATIAN NON-COOPERATION
ON DOCUMENT SHARING



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





12. (S) OSORIO DESCRIBED DEL PONTE AS BEING FRUSTRATED WITH
BOTH THE ICTY PRESIDING JUDGE AND THE GOC ON THE BOBETKO
CASE. DEL PONTE IS "PISSED OFF" WITH THE PRESIDING JUDGE
BECAUSE HE HAS NOT RULED ON THE MEDICAL EXPERT TEAM'S REPORT
ON GENERAL BOBETKO AND ON THE GENERAL'S FITNESS TO STAND
TRIAL. THE OTP'S EXPECTATION STILL IS THAT THE JUDGE WILL
RULE THAT BOBETKO IS UNFIT.



13. (S) AT THE SAME TIME, DEL PONTE IS FURIOUS AT THE
CROATIAN COURTS FOR NOT ORDERING THAT THE BOBETKO INDICTMENT
BE DELIVERED TO THE ACCUSED OR TO HIS LAWYERS, AS IS
SPECIFIED UNDER CROATIAN LAW. POINTING TO A FEBRUARY 13
LOCAL PRESS REPORT IN WHICH BOBETKO RECEIVED LOCAL HDZ
OFFICIALS IN THE HOSPITAL, OSORIO SAID THAT IF BOBETKO IS FIT
ENOUGH TO RECEIVE LOCAL GUESTS, HE IS FIT ENOUGH TO RECEIVE
THE INDICTMENT. THE OTP IS PREPARING A REQUEST TO THE GOC
THAT IT -- AS THE OTP'S LOCAL AGENT -- FILE A MOTION BEFORE
THE PRESIDING ZAGREB JUDGE TO REQUEST HIM TO SERVE THE
INDICTMENT TO BOBETKO OR HIS LEGAL REPRESENTATIVES. FAILURE
OF THE GOC TO ACT ON THE OTP'S BEHALF WOULD BE ANOTHER REASON
TO CITE CROATIA FOR NON-COMPLIANCE, OSORIO SAID. WHILE HE
ACKNOWLEDGED THAT SOME COULD PERCEIVE THIS APPROACH AS "SOUR
GRAPES," HE SAID IT WAS AN IMPORTANT POINT OF PRINCIPAL THAT
STATES COMPLY FULLY WITH ALL THEIR OBLIGATIONS. THIS IS ONE
SUCH CASE.
SECRET

PAGE 03 ZAGREB 00470 03 OF 03 052224Z

COMMENT


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





14. (C) THE OTP'S PREDILECTION TO ISSUE UNSUBSTANTIATED
STATEMENTS ON GOTOVINA'S WHEREABOUTS AND ITS LACK OF
CONSULTATION WITH ITS OWN EXPERTS ON THE GROUND DAMAGES THE
OTP'S CREDIBILITY WITH THE ICTY'S INTERNATIONAL SUPPORTERS,
PARTICULARLY WITH US AND THE BRITISH. THE OTP MUST MAKE
CLEAR TO US WHAT EVIDENCE IT HAS ON GOTOVINA. MORE BROADLY,
IT MUST DO A FAR BETTER JOB IN MANAGING ITS CROATIA PORTFOLIO
IF WE ARE TO WEIGH IN EFFECTIVELY ON ICTY'S BEHALF WITH
RECALCITRANT GOC OFFICIALS.



15. (C) THE OTP'S MISHANDLING OF THE GOTOVINA CASE THREATENS
TO OVERSHADOW WHAT APPEARS TO BE SERIOUS CROATIAN
NON-COMPLIANCE OVER DOCUMENT SHARING. THE OTP'S
UNPROFESSIONAL BEHAVIOR ON GOTOVINA DIMINISHES THE
INSTITUTION, WEAKENS THE FEW PROFESSIONALS IN CROATIA INTENT
ON CAPTURING THE FUGITIVE, AND STRENGTHENS THE HAND OF THE
MANY HERE THAT ARGUE THAT ICTY IS ONLY PURSUING A PURELY
POLITICAL AGENDA.
ROSSIN

SECRET

>