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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
04ZAGREB1595 2004-09-09 15:17:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Zagreb
Cable title:  

PROSECUTOR,S COOPERATION PLAN DRAWS ICTY SUPPORT

Tags:   KAWC PREL KJUS PHUM HR 
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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  ZAGREB 001595 

SIPDIS


DEPT FOR S/WCI - PROSPER, EUR/SCE - KABUMOTO, EUR/ACE-
MARKEY, INL/EEA-HARTSHORN
BELGRADE FOR LUSTIG & NAZZARO
SARAJEVO FOR RLA
SKOPJE FOR HUBLER

E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/08/2014
TAGS: KAWC PREL KJUS PHUM HR
SUBJECT: PROSECUTOR,S COOPERATION PLAN DRAWS ICTY SUPPORT

REF: A. ZAGREB 01567

B. BELGRADE 01781

C. ZAGREB 01483

Classified By: Ambassador Ralph Frank for reasons 1.5 (b) & (d).



1. (C) SUMMARY AND COMMENT: Patrick Lopez-Terres, Chief of
Investigations in the ICTY Office of the Prosecutor, has
expressed enthusiastic support for Croatian Chief State
Prosecutor Mladen Bajic,s initiative to pursue bilateral
cooperation agreements between the state prosecutors of the
countries of the former Yugoslavia (ref A). In a September 6
meeting with the Ambassador, Lopez-Terres hailed the State
Prosecutor,s work, adding that Bajic,s new plan
demonstrated exactly the spirit of cooperation the ICTY needs
to succeed in its exit strategy. Bajic is currently
providing extensive witness and evidence support to SAM,s
state prosecutor in the Ovcara Farm war crimes case and is
searching for ways to ensure that his colleague in Belgrade
can reciprocate, despite political atmospherics (ref B).
Bajic is skillfully floating his idea with the international
community to win support before he gets any resistance from
within the GOC or its neighbors. Once Bajic presents
specifics, the Ambassador proposed early Embassy intervention
with key political leaders to ensure the prosecutor,s plan
succeeds domestically.



2. (C) Lopez-Terres assessed Bajic,s coordinating role in
the GOC,s ongoing hunt for Ante Gotovina as extremely
positive but said the quality of actual police work continues
to be mixed, and the goal ) Gotovina in The Hague ) does
not appear much closer. According to Lopez-Terres, Bajic
claims to be making progress in improving police attitudes,
particularly in Gotovina,s hometown of Zadar, but only with
extraordinary effort. Bajic plans &more aggressive and
visible8 police tactics to push the investigation forward.
Post has no doubt about the prosecutor,s political will, but
until the GOC removes the members of the police Lopez-Terres
said have posters supporting Gotovina in their lockers, Bajic
will continue to face an uphill battle. END SUMMARY AND
COMMENT.

PROSECUTOR,S TRIAL BALLOON WINS ICTY SUPPORT


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





3. (C) According to Lopez-Terres, Bajic has already drafted
a model bilateral agreement on prosecutor cooperation and
will soon present it to the MOJ. Bajic, who has excellent
relations with his colleagues in the region, hopes to create
a direct communication channel between state prosecutors,
bypassing the diplomatic formalities of Mutual Legal
Assistance and minimizing delays in witness appearances or
evidence transfer - delays that could unhinge ICTY,s exit
strategy.



4. (C) In addition to selling ICTY on his plan, Bajic has
met with us as well as the OSCE and other multilateral
organizations, seeking the international support he will need
to overcome any political obstacles to his idea.
Lopez-Terres doubted that politicians would object to the
substance of Bajic,s proposal, but there may be turf issues
with MFA or others as the state prosecutor strays outside the
strict definitions of his mandate. Bajic is also likely
counting on prosecutorial agreements to help him survive
professionally if a lack of cooperation on the part of a
neighboring government stalls his prosecution of cases
transferred from the ICTY.



5. (C) When Bajic has finalized his plan, the Ambassador
proposed to Lopez-Terres that the Embassy could assist by
expressing USG support early for the concept to MFA and PM,
noting that we want to ensure that Bajic has all the tools he
needs. Post could also go to President Mesic, the Ambassador
added, and highlight that we look forward to his support on
this potential issue in his re-election campaign.

CASE TRANSFERS CRITICAL TO ICTY EXIT


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





6. (C) Lopez-Terres made it clear that ICTY judges are

counting on the success of case transfers. While ICTY will
retain oversight, Lopez-Terres noted with a smile that
pulling cases back to The Hague would be &incompatible with
our exit strategy.8 He reported that ICTY views Croatia as
the most prepared country in the region to accept case
transfers. The retrial in the Lora Prison case (ref C) will
be a key opportunity for the Croatian judiciary to prove this
readiness.
FRANK


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