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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
06BELGRADE581
2006-04-14 08:10:00
UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
Embassy Belgrade
Cable title:  

PIFWC ASSET FREEZE LAW PASSES

Tags:   PGOV  ICTY  PREL  EFIN  SR 
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VZCZCXYZ0008
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHBW #0581 1040810
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 140810Z APR 06
FM AMEMBASSY BELGRADE
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 8363
INFO RUEHTC/AMEMBASSY THE HAGUE 0476
RUEHVJ/AMEMBASSY SARAJEVO 0208
						UNCLAS BELGRADE 000581 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

E.O. 12958:N/A
TAGS: PGOV ICTY PREL EFIN SR
SUBJECT: PIFWC ASSET FREEZE LAW PASSES

UNCLAS BELGRADE 000581

SIPDIS

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

E.O. 12958:N/A
TAGS: PGOV ICTY PREL EFIN SR
SUBJECT: PIFWC ASSET FREEZE LAW PASSES


1. (U) On June 15, 2005 the Council of Ministers
of Serbia and Montenegro (SaM) introduced to the
SAM parliament a draft law that would freeze the
assets of persons indicted by The Hague Tribunal
(PIFWCs) who are at large. Almost a year later,
on April 7, 2006, the parliament finally adopted
the law, over the opposition of the Serbian
Radical and Socialist parties.


2. (U) The draft law stipulates that the assets of
fugitive PIFWCs (General Ratko Mladic, Radovan
Karadzic, Goran Hadzic, Zdravko Tolimir and Stojan
Zupljanin) are excluded from any market
transactions including selling or renting of real
estate or other property, denying access to their
domestic bank accounts, and the possibility of SaM
asking other countries to freeze their assets in
foreign accounts. The law also provides that
PIFWC assets would be unfrozen should the
fugitives become available to the state bodies of
SaM or The Hague Tribunal (i.e. surrender or are
arrested). Following adoption of this law by the
SaM parliament, both constituent republics of
Serbia and Montenegro have to legally regulate
implementation of the law.


3. (U) A similar draft of this bill was floated
before in mid-May of 2005 but was withdrawn due to
the chaos that ensued when members of the Serbian
Radical Party added amendments that watered down
the bill to the extent it was rendered impotent.
At that time, proponents of the bill did not have
a majority for it and it was tabled. As an interim
measure, the Belgrade district prosecutor ordered
financial injunctions on PIFWC assets, meant to
implement major provisions of the bill while the
SaM Council of Ministers fine-tuned the language
of the law and its strategy for getting it through
the state union parliament. Unfortunately, these
injunctions were not fully implemented since they
did not have the authority of law, and General
Mladic has been continuing to receive his pension
(though no one has shown up to pick up the checks,
so they simply remain credited to his account).


4. (SBU) The passing of the bill at this
particular time may be an attempt by the Kostunica
government to put pressure on fugitive General
Ratko Mladic - or at a minimum, to appear to be
doing so. It comes at the same time as local
press has reported an increase in pressure on
Mladic's family, including searches of family
residences and tax inspections of the business of
Mladic's son. The passing of this bill was
supported by deputies from the Democratic Party of
Serbia, G17 Plus, Democratic Party, Serbian
Renewal Party and New Serbia. It was also backed
by the necessary 18 votes from Montenegro by the
Democratic Party of Socialists and the Socialist
Democratic Party.

POLT