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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
03ZAGREB925
2003-04-28 05:50:00
CONFIDENTIAL//NOFORN
Embassy Zagreb
Cable title:  

WHO SHIELDED ICTY PIFWC IVICA RAJIC?

Tags:  KAWC KJUS PREL HR UNSC ICTY 
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This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
						C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 ZAGREB 000925 

SIPDIS


NOFORN

STATE FOR S/WCI, EUR/SCE, INL/AAE, EUR/ACE, AND DRL
THE HAGUE FOR JOHNSON/KAYE/WHEATON

E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/24/2013
TAGS: KAWC KJUS PREL HR UNSC ICTY
SUBJECT: WHO SHIELDED ICTY PIFWC IVICA RAJIC?

REF: ZAGREB 761

CLASSIFIED BY: POLOFF ROBERT SILBERSTEIN, REASON 1.5 (B) AND (D)

SUMMARY
-------



1. (C/NF) CROATIAN LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIALS TELL US THAT
THEY HAVE UNCOVERED EVIDENCE OF A SYSTEMATIC, CLANDESTINE
EFFORT OF THE FORMER HDZ GOVERNMENT TO SHIELD ETHNIC CROAT
PIFWCS -- INCLUDING IVICA RAJIC -- FROM JUSTICE. THEY HAVE
LAUNCHED AN INVESTIGATION TO UPROOT THAT SUPPORT NETWORK AND
INDICT ITS ORGANIZERS. THEY SPECULATED THAT THERE IS OVERLAP
BETWEEN THE RAJIC NETWORK AND THOSE THAT AID ICTY PIFWC ANTE
GOTOVINA, BUT SAID THEY HAVE NO PROOF THUS FAR.



2. (C/NF) WHILE THE INVESTIGATION MIGHT EMBARRASS THE HDZ, IT
ALSO MIGHT RAISE QUESTIONS ABOUT HOW SUCH A NETWORK COULD
CONTINUE TO OPERATE DURING THE RACAN GOVERNMENT'S MANDATE,
PARTICULARLY AS THERE WERE INDICATIONS IN LATE 2000 OF AN
ORGANIZED PIFWC PROTECTION EFFORT. THE GOC WILL REQUIRE
CONTINUED EXTERNAL PRESSURE TO ENSURE THAT IT PROSECUTES
THOSE WHO SEEK TO STYMIE THE WORK OF THE ICTY. END SUMMARY.

STATUS OF THE RAJIC CASE


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





3. (C) THE APRIL 5 ARREST IN SPLIT OF BOSNIAN CROAT ICTY
FUGITIVE IVICA RAJIC BROUGHT TO A CLOSE AN EIGHT-MONTH
MANHUNT CONDUCTED BY A SPECIAL UNIT OF THE CROATIAN POLICE
(REFTEL). THE CROATIAN SUPREME COURT ON APRIL 23 AUTHORIZED
THE ZAGREB COUNTRY COURT TO ADJUDICATE THE ICTY TRANSFER
PROCESS. ALTHOUGH RAJIC'S ATTORNEY HAS FILED AN APPEAL
DEMANDING THAT RAJIC'S TRIAL BE HELD IN CROATIA, OUR GOC
CONTACTS TOLD US THE DEFENSE MOTION ONLY HAS NUISANCE VALUE
AND THAT RAJIC WILL BE TRANSFERRED BY MID-MAY.

INVESTIGATION DETAILS


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





4. (C/NF) ACCORDING TO DIRECTOR GENERAL OF POLICE RANKO
OSTOJIC AND CHIEF PROSECUTOR MLADEN BAJIC, THE CROATIAN
POLICE IN MID-2002 CAME ACROSS INFORMATION THAT RAJIC'S WIFE
WAS LIVING IN A MINISTRY OF DEFENSE-OWNED APARTMENT AND WAS
WORKING AT AN MOD FACILITY IN SPLIT. A SMALL UNIT OF POLICE
OFFICERS THAT OSTOJIC TRUSTED WAS FORMED TO STAKE OUT THE
LOCATIONS -- AS WELL AS A CAFE THOUGHT TO BE OWNED BY RAJIC
-- BUT THE TEAM HAD NOT BEEN ABLE TO IDENTIFY THE FUGITIVE.



5. (C/NF) BAJIC TOLD US THAT THE BREAK IN THE CASE CAME ABOUT
TWO MONTHS AGO, WHEN A LOCAL INFORMANT IN SPLIT GAVE POLICE
NEW DETAILS ABOUT RAJIC'S COVER IDENTITY, ALLOWING THE POLICE
TO ARREST THE PIFWC. BAJIC SAID THAT THE CROATIAN POLICE
RECEIVED NO OUTSIDE ASSISTANCE IN WHAT WAS A VERY CLOSE-HOLD
CASE. ON A NUMBER OF OCCASIONS, OSTOJIC TOLD US THAT HE
WOULD NOT SHARE ANY DETAILS OF THE RAJIC OPERATION WITH HIS
INTELLIGENCE SERVICE COLLEAGUES BECAUSE OF FEARS THAT
HDZ-SYMPATHIZERS INSIDE THOSE ORGANIZATIONS WOULD TIP HIM OFF
AND DRIVE RAJIC DEEPER UNDERGROUND.

WHO PROTECTED RAJIC?


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





6. (C) BAJIC SAID THAT HE AND OSTOJIC ARE PUSHING A "FURIOUS"
INVESTIGATION TO IDENTIFY AND INDICT THOSE INDIVIDUALS THAT
SHELTERED RAJIC. BAJIC BELIEVES THAT THERE MUST BE OVERLAP
BETWEEN THOSE WHO ABETTED RAJIC AND THOSE WHO FORMED THE
SUPPORT NETWORK OF PIFWC ANTE GOTOVINA, ALTHOUGH THE POLICE
HAVE NOT YET UNCOVERED EVIDENCE SUPPORTING HIS THESIS.



7. (C/NF) IN THE COURSE OF THE RAJIC INVESTIGATION, CROATIAN
AUTHORITIES SAY THAT THEY HAVE FOUND EVIDENCE OF A SYSTEMATIC
EFFORT OF THE FORMER HDZ GOVERNMENT TO SHIELD ETHNIC-CROAT
PIFWCS FROM ARREST. THEY SHARED WITH US A JUNE 1998 BRIEFING
PAPER PREPARED FOR PRESIDENT TUDJMAN BY THEN HEAD OF CROATIAN
MILITARY INTELLIGENCE (SIS) MARKICA REBIC. INTER ALIA, THE
PAPER -- WHICH WE BELIEVE IS GENUINE -- OUTLINES CROATIAN
EXTERNAL INTELLIGENCE SERVICE (HIS) COVERT OPERATIONS AGAINST
ICTY AND EFFORTS TO OBTAIN ICTY DOCUMENTS REGARDING ONGOING
INVESTIGATIONS.



8. (C) THE DOCUMENT ALSO DESCRIBES HOW THE SIS PROTECTED

ZAGREB 00000925 001.2 OF 002

CROATIAN LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIALS TELL US THAT
THEY HAVE UNCOVERED EVIDENCE OF A SYSTEMATIC, CLANDESTINE
EFFORT OF THE FORMER HDZ GOVERNMENT TO SHIELD ETHNIC CROAT
PIFWCS -- INCLUDING IVICA RAJIC -- FROM JUSTICE. THEY HAVE
LAUNCHED AN INVESTIGATION TO UPROOT THAT SUPPORT NETWORK AND
INDICT ITS ORGANIZERS. THEY SPECULATED THAT THERE IS OVERLAP
BETWEEN THE RAJIC NETWORK AND THOSE THAT AID ICTY PIFWC ANTE
GOTOVINA, BUT SAID THEY HAVE NO PROOF THUS FAR.



2. (C/NF) WHILE THE INVESTIGATION MIGHT EMBARRASS THE HDZ, IT
ALSO MIGHT RAISE QUESTIONS ABOUT HOW SUCH A NETWORK COULD
CONTINUE TO OPERATE DURING THE RACAN GOVERNMENT'S MANDATE,
PARTICULARLY AS THERE WERE INDICATIONS IN LATE 2000 OF AN
ORGANIZED PIFWC PROTECTION EFFORT. THE GOC WILL REQUIRE
CONTINUED EXTERNAL PRESSURE TO ENSURE THAT IT PROSECUTES
THOSE WHO SEEK TO STYMIE THE WORK OF THE ICTY. END SUMMARY.

STATUS OF THE RAJIC CASE


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





3. (C) THE APRIL 5 ARREST IN SPLIT OF BOSNIAN CROAT ICTY
FUGITIVE IVICA RAJIC BROUGHT TO A CLOSE AN EIGHT-MONTH
MANHUNT CONDUCTED BY A SPECIAL UNIT OF THE CROATIAN POLICE
(REFTEL). THE CROATIAN SUPREME COURT ON APRIL 23 AUTHORIZED
THE ZAGREB COUNTRY COURT TO ADJUDICATE THE ICTY TRANSFER
PROCESS. ALTHOUGH RAJIC'S ATTORNEY HAS FILED AN APPEAL
DEMANDING THAT RAJIC'S TRIAL BE HELD IN CROATIA, OUR GOC
CONTACTS TOLD US THE DEFENSE MOTION ONLY HAS NUISANCE VALUE
AND THAT RAJIC WILL BE TRANSFERRED BY MID-MAY.

INVESTIGATION DETAILS


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





4. (C/NF) ACCORDING TO DIRECTOR GENERAL OF POLICE RANKO
OSTOJIC AND CHIEF PROSECUTOR MLADEN BAJIC, THE CROATIAN
POLICE IN MID-2002 CAME ACROSS INFORMATION THAT RAJIC'S WIFE
WAS LIVING IN A MINISTRY OF DEFENSE-OWNED APARTMENT AND WAS
WORKING AT AN MOD FACILITY IN SPLIT. A SMALL UNIT OF POLICE
OFFICERS THAT OSTOJIC TRUSTED WAS FORMED TO STAKE OUT THE
LOCATIONS -- AS WELL AS A CAFE THOUGHT TO BE OWNED BY RAJIC
-- BUT THE TEAM HAD NOT BEEN ABLE TO IDENTIFY THE FUGITIVE.



5. (C/NF) BAJIC TOLD US THAT THE BREAK IN THE CASE CAME ABOUT
TWO MONTHS AGO, WHEN A LOCAL INFORMANT IN SPLIT GAVE POLICE
NEW DETAILS ABOUT RAJIC'S COVER IDENTITY, ALLOWING THE POLICE
TO ARREST THE PIFWC. BAJIC SAID THAT THE CROATIAN POLICE
RECEIVED NO OUTSIDE ASSISTANCE IN WHAT WAS A VERY CLOSE-HOLD
CASE. ON A NUMBER OF OCCASIONS, OSTOJIC TOLD US THAT HE
WOULD NOT SHARE ANY DETAILS OF THE RAJIC OPERATION WITH HIS
INTELLIGENCE SERVICE COLLEAGUES BECAUSE OF FEARS THAT
HDZ-SYMPATHIZERS INSIDE THOSE ORGANIZATIONS WOULD TIP HIM OFF
AND DRIVE RAJIC DEEPER UNDERGROUND.

WHO PROTECTED RAJIC?


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





6. (C) BAJIC SAID THAT HE AND OSTOJIC ARE PUSHING A "FURIOUS"
INVESTIGATION TO IDENTIFY AND INDICT THOSE INDIVIDUALS THAT
SHELTERED RAJIC. BAJIC BELIEVES THAT THERE MUST BE OVERLAP
BETWEEN THOSE WHO ABETTED RAJIC AND THOSE WHO FORMED THE
SUPPORT NETWORK OF PIFWC ANTE GOTOVINA, ALTHOUGH THE POLICE
HAVE NOT YET UNCOVERED EVIDENCE SUPPORTING HIS THESIS.



7. (C/NF) IN THE COURSE OF THE RAJIC INVESTIGATION, CROATIAN
AUTHORITIES SAY THAT THEY HAVE FOUND EVIDENCE OF A SYSTEMATIC
EFFORT OF THE FORMER HDZ GOVERNMENT TO SHIELD ETHNIC-CROAT
PIFWCS FROM ARREST. THEY SHARED WITH US A JUNE 1998 BRIEFING
PAPER PREPARED FOR PRESIDENT TUDJMAN BY THEN HEAD OF CROATIAN
MILITARY INTELLIGENCE (SIS) MARKICA REBIC. INTER ALIA, THE
PAPER -- WHICH WE BELIEVE IS GENUINE -- OUTLINES CROATIAN
EXTERNAL INTELLIGENCE SERVICE (HIS) COVERT OPERATIONS AGAINST
ICTY AND EFFORTS TO OBTAIN ICTY DOCUMENTS REGARDING ONGOING
INVESTIGATIONS.



8. (C) THE DOCUMENT ALSO DESCRIBES HOW THE SIS PROTECTED

ZAGREB 00000925 002.1 OF 002

SPECTS TO SFOR CAPTURE
OPERATIONS AND ESTABLISHED SAFEHOUSES AND UNDERTOOK OTHER
MEASURES (INCLUDING CHANGE OF IDENTITY) TO PROTECT THE
INDICTEES. BAJIC TELLS US THAT HE HAS ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
THAT "CONFIRMS" THAT THE HDZ GOVERNMENT CHANNELED FUNDING FOR
THE PIFWC PROTECTION OPERATIONS THROUGH HDZ MP LJUBO
CESIC-ROJS (AT THE TIME ASSISTANT MINISTER OF DEFENSE FOR
LOGISTICS), CIRO GRUBISIC, THEN-CROATIAN CONSUL GENERAL IN
MOSTAR AND THE NOW-DEFUNCT HERCEGOVACKA BANKA.

EU VISA BAN FOR PIFWC SUPPORTERS


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





8. (SBU) CROATIAN MEDIA IS RIFE WITH SPECULATION THAT THE EU
REQUIRED THE GOC TO SUBMIT A LIST OF PERSONS SUSPECTED OF
ABETTING PIFWC ANTE GOTOVINA FOR INCLUSION IN THE EU TRAVEL
BAN "ON PERSONS IN THE FORMER YUGOSLAVIA INVOLVED IN THE
EVASION OF JUSTICE" (ADOPTED AT THE EU GENERAL AFFAIRS
COUNCIL APRIL 16). PETER MARTIN, DEPUTY POLITICAL ADVISOR AT
THE EC MISSION IN ZAGREB, SAID HE KNEW OF NO FORMAL EU
REQUEST, BUT INDIVIDUAL MEMBER STATES MIGHT HAVE APPROACHED
THE GOC. FOR HIS PART, BAJIC TOLD US THAT HE WELCOMED EU AND
U.S. EFFORTS TO STEP UP THE PRESSURE ON THOSE WHO AIDED AND
ABETTED THE FLIGHT FROM JUSTICE OF INDICTED WAR CRIMINALS.

COMMENT


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



9.(C) MRS. RAJIC'S MOD APARTMENT AND JOB AND MR. RAJIC'S
VALID IDENTITY DOCUMENTS IN A FALSE NAME POINT TO A
COMPREHENSIVE SUPPORT NETWORK THAT INVOLVES OFFICIALS IN AT
LEAST TWO MINISTRIES (DEFENSE AND INTERIOR). WHILE THE REBIC
DOCUMENT APPEARS TO CONFIRM THAT THE HDZ CREATED THAT SUPPORT
NETWORK WHEN IT WAS IN POWER, THE FACT THAT RAJIC WAS ABLE TO
REMAIN HIDDEN FOR THREE YEARS AFTER THE RACAN GOVERNMENT TOOK
OFFICE -- AND LONG AFTER THE OTP RAISED RAJIC WITH THE GOC --
RAISES QUESTIONS ABOUT WHO IN THE GOC KNEW OF THE CLANDESTINE
PIFWC SUPPORT, WHEN DID THEY KNOW IT AND WHAT, IF ANYTHING,
DID THEY DO ABOUT IT.



10. (C) IF HISTORY IS A GUIDE, THE GOC WILL REQUIRE EXTERNAL
PRESSURE TO ENSURE THAT IT PROSECUTES THOSE WHO SEEK TO
STYMIE THE WORK OF THE ICTY. IN SEPTEMBER 2000, CROATIAN
POLICE RAIDED A NUMBER OF SAFEHOUSES IN THE ZADAR AREA AND
ARRESTED TWO BOSNIAN WAR CRIMES SUSPECTS WANTED IN THE AHMICI
MASSACRE IN CENTRAL BOSNIA IN 1993. THE SUSPECTS HAD A
NUMBER OF SETS OF LEGITIMATELY ISSUED CROATIAN IDENTITY
DOCUMENTS IN DIFFERENT NAMES. IN JUNE 2001, A MID-RANKING
CROATIAN INTERNAL INTELLIGENCE SERVICE (SZUP) OFFICIAL AND A
CROATIAN ARMY OFFICER WERE ACQUITTED FOR HAVING AIDED AND
ABETTED THE SUSPECTS. NO CHARGES AGAINST ANY OTHER OFFICIALS
OR INDIVIDUALS WERE FILED AND THE PUBLIC CONTROVERSY EBBED.
MOON

ZAGREB 00000925 002.2 OF 002

SPECTS TO SFOR CAPTURE
OPERATIONS AND ESTABLISHED SAFEHOUSES AND UNDERTOOK OTHER
MEASURES (INCLUDING CHANGE OF IDENTITY) TO PROTECT THE
INDICTEES. BAJIC TELLS US THAT HE HAS ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
THAT "CONFIRMS" THAT THE HDZ GOVERNMENT CHANNELED FUNDING FOR
THE PIFWC PROTECTION OPERATIONS THROUGH HDZ MP LJUBO
CESIC-ROJS (AT THE TIME ASSISTANT MINISTER OF DEFENSE FOR
LOGISTICS), CIRO GRUBISIC, THEN-CROATIAN CONSUL GENERAL IN
MOSTAR AND THE NOW-DEFUNCT HERCEGOVACKA BANKA.

EU VISA BAN FOR PIFWC SUPPORTERS


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





9. (SBU) CROATIAN MEDIA IS RIFE WITH SPECULATION THAT THE EU
REQUIRED THE GOC TO SUBMIT A LIST OF PERSONS SUSPECTED OF
ABETTING PIFWC ANTE GOTOVINA FOR INCLUSION IN THE EU TRAVEL
BAN "ON PERSONS IN THE FORMER YUGOSLAVIA INVOLVED IN THE
EVASION OF JUSTICE" (ADOPTED AT THE EU GENERAL AFFAIRS
COUNCIL APRIL 16). PETER MARTIN, DEPUTY POLITICAL ADVISOR AT
THE EC MISSION IN ZAGREB, SAID HE KNEW OF NO FORMAL EU
REQUEST, BUT INDIVIDUAL MEMBER STATES MIGHT HAVE APPROACHED
THE GOC. FOR HIS PART, BAJIC TOLD US THAT HE WELCOMED EU AND
U.S. EFFORTS TO STEP UP THE PRESSURE ON THOSE WHO AIDED AND
ABETTED THE FLIGHT FROM JUSTICE OF INDICTED WAR CRIMINALS.

COMMENT


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



10.(C) MRS. RAJIC'S MOD APARTMENT AND JOB AND MR. RAJIC'S
VALID IDENTITY DOCUMENTS IN A FALSE NAME POINT TO A
COMPREHENSIVE SUPPORT NETWORK THAT INVOLVES OFFICIALS IN AT
LEAST TWO MINISTRIES (DEFENSE AND INTERIOR). WHILE THE REBIC
DOCUMENT APPEARS TO CONFIRM THAT THE HDZ CREATED THAT SUPPORT
NETWORK WHEN IT WAS IN POWER, THE FACT THAT RAJIC WAS ABLE TO
REMAIN HIDDEN FOR THREE YEARS AFTER THE RACAN GOVERNMENT TOOK
OFFICE -- AND LONG AFTER THE OTP RAISED RAJIC WITH THE GOC --
RAISES QUESTIONS ABOUT WHO IN THE GOC KNEW OF THE CLANDESTINE
PIFWC SUPPORT, WHEN DID THEY KNOW IT AND WHAT, IF ANYTHING,
DID THEY DO ABOUT IT.



11. (C) IF HISTORY IS A GUIDE, THE GOC WILL REQUIRE EXTERNAL
PRESSURE TO ENSURE THAT IT PROSECUTES THOSE WHO SEEK TO
STYMIE THE WORK OF THE ICTY. IN SEPTEMBER 2000, CROATIAN
POLICE RAIDED A NUMBER OF SAFEHOUSES IN THE ZADAR AREA AND
ARRESTED TWO BOSNIAN WAR CRIMES SUSPECTS WANTED IN THE AHMICI
MASSACRE IN CENTRAL BOSNIA IN 1993. THE SUSPECTS HAD A
NUMBER OF SETS OF LEGITIMATELY ISSUED CROATIAN IDENTITY
DOCUMENTS IN DIFFERENT NAMES. IN JUNE 2001, A MID-RANKING
CROATIAN INTERNAL INTELLIGENCE SERVICE (SZUP) OFFICIAL AND A
CROATIAN ARMY OFFICER WERE ACQUITTED FOR HAVING AIDED AND
ABETTED THE SUSPECTS. NO CHARGES AGAINST ANY OTHER OFFICIALS
OR INDIVIDUALS WERE FILED AND THE PUBLIC CONTROVERSY EBBED.
MOON

NNNN