Viewing cable 08ZAGREB426
Title: VISIT OF S/WCI WILLIAMSON TO ZAGREB

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
08ZAGREB4262008-06-09 11:53:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Zagreb
VZCZCXRO4413
PP RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHDA RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLN
RUEHLZ RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHVB #0426/01 1611153
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 091153Z JUN 08
FM AMEMBASSY ZAGREB
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8377
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ZAGREB 000426 
 
DEPT FOR EUR/SCE HOH AND BALIAN 
DEPT FOR S/WCI WILLIAMSON 
DEPT FOR INR/MORIN 
NSC FOR BRAUN 
 
SIPDIS 
SENSITIVE 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: KAWC ICTY PREL PGOV HR
SUBJECT:  VISIT OF S/WCI WILLIAMSON TO ZAGREB 
 
REF: (A) ZAGREB 385; (B) ZAGREB 410 
 
¶1. (U) SUMMARY:  Ambassador-at-large for War Crimes Clint Williamson 
visited Zagreb on June 2.  He met with Assistant Justice Minister 
Markotic to discuss the status of Croatian cooperation with the 
ICTY.  Markotic defended Croatia against recent claims by the ICTY 
prosecutor that the GoC is only "partially" cooperating with the 
ICTY on providing documents.  A subsequent meeting with Assistant 
Foreign Minister Pjer Simunovic covered remaining issues before the 
UNSC related to the ICTY close-out plan and efforts at the UN to 
promote cooperation by other countries on war crime prevention and 
with international tribunals, with Simunovic indicating the GoC's 
priorities are in line with U.S. goals on both issues.  Opposition 
MP and legal expert Ivo Josipovic was less sanguine about Croatia's 
judicial capacity or the media's ability to cover such cases, but 
agreed that the GoC was genuine in its cooperation with the ICTY.  A 
final session with Deputy Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor covered both 
sets of topics, confirming high-level political support for the 
points made earlier by Markotic and Simunovic.  END SUMMARY. 
 
ICTY COOPERATION 
--------------- 
 
¶2. (U) Gordan Markotic, Assistant Minister of Justice for 
Cooperation with International Courts, told Amb. Williamson that 
Croatia remained committed to full cooperation with the ICTY, and 
expressed dissatisfaction with ICTY Prosecutor Serge Brammertz's 
recent evaluation that Croatia was only "partially cooperative" with 
the ICTY. (REF A) Under Brammertz's predecessor, Carla del Ponte, 
Markotic noted, Croatia had been assessed as "generally cooperative" 
for several years. 
 
¶3. (U) At issue is the GOC's willingness to obtain a specific set of 
documents relating to the Gotovina trial.  Markotic explained that 
the level of cooperation has not changed, but rather the ICTY's 
perception of the GOC's ability to obtain these documents.  We have 
done everything within our power to find them, Markotic explained, 
noting that PM Sanader had ordered the Ministry of Defense (MOD) to 
open its archives, that the MOD was conducting an internal 
investigation to find those documents, and that the GOC had 
continually proven its willingness to cooperate.  To emphasize his 
last point, he noted that the GOC has fulfilled 787 out of the 
ICTY's 788 requests for information, the exception being these 
documents.  The documents in question were reprinted in a book about 
General Janko Bobetko and relate to artillery use during Operation 
Storm.  Markotic estimated that they are neither critical to the 
defense nor the prosecution.  He told Williamson that his office is 
surprised by the downgraded evaluation, noting that Croatia advised 
the ICTY over a year ago that they could not find the documents and 
that nothing has changed since then. He said that they were 
perplexed as to how to resolve the issue when they in good faith 
cannot locate the documents. 
 
UN ISSUES 
--------- 
 
¶4. (SBU) With Assistant FM Simunovic, Amb. Williamson reviewed three 
key issues under review in the UNSC Working Group on the legacy of 
the international tribunals.  These are the final location of the 
tribunal archives, how to address any indictees that may still be 
fugitives when the tribunal concludes its work, and encouraging 
effected governments to professionally handle their responsibilities 
to try war crimes.  On the archives, Williamson said the USG was 
still awaiting the report of Justice Goldstone on the issue and that 
the outcomes may differ regarding the ICTR and the ICTY, but that in 
the latter case, we were leaning toward a "neutral" venue. 
Simunovic commented that the GoC was clearly in favor of a neutral 
venue. 
 
¶5. (SBU) On prosecution of fugitives, Williamson noted that the USG 
favored ensuring there was some residual capacity to at least try 
Mladic and Karadzic internationally, perhaps with an ad hoc panel 
drawn from former ICTY justices.  For the remaining two fugitives, 
Zupljanin and Hadzic, prosecution in the region might be acceptable, 
but in that case we would prefer that the cases be tried in the 
countries where the alleged crimes were committed, meaning Croatia 
for Hadzic and B-H for Zupljanin.  Simunovic responded that Croatia 
could understand the need for an international tribunal for at least 
Karadzic and Mladic, but if domestic prosecution was needed then the 
Croatian courts had shown they had the capacity, as demonstrated by 
the recently concluded Ademi-Norac trial (REF B).  He added that, in 
the context of the work of the OSCE office in Croatia, the 
government supported the development of capacity in domestic civil 
society to monitor war crimes trials.  He said he believed both 
domestic NGOs and the media had made great progress toward effective 
monitoring of such proceedings. 
 
 
ZAGREB 00000426  002 OF 002 
 
 
¶6. (SBU) Regarding local governments' responsibilities to try war 
crimes, Amb. Williamson praised the efforts by the Croatian State 
Prosecutor to streamline cases, eliminate outstanding poorly 
documented indictments, reduce duplication, and promote evidence 
sharing and other forms of cooperation among regional prosecutors. 
He noted that the USG was working to promote several of these steps 
as a model to other prosecutors.  We also needed to ensure that the 
prosecutors' practical experience in implementing these steps was 
reflected in governments' deliberations at the UN on handling such 
issues.  Simunovic reaffirmed that Croatia was clear on its role 
vis-a-vis the ICTY, and was determined to continue cooperation, "not 
just to serve as a model to others, but because it is the best thing 
for our own interests."  Simunovic added that Croatia also felt 
strongly that conditionality regarding war crimes cooperation needs 
to be upheld, and that it would urge continued conditionality for 
Serbia as well, particularly in the EU context. 
 
¶7. (U) In response to Amb. Williamson's plug for greater Croatian 
engagement in war crimes prevention and response efforts such as the 
Global Futures Forum or the Justice Rapid Response Project, 
Simunovic indicated the GoC would be interested in exploring ways 
that it might share its expertise on war crimes investigations and 
related issues with others.  In the context of the UNSC, Simunovic 
noted that Croatia wanted to be among the key actors pushing for 
international justice in Darfur, Lebanon and elsewhere, so these 
projects would be consistent with Croatia's broader policies. 
 
AN OPPOSITION PERSPECTIVE 
---------------------- 
 
¶8. (U) Over lunch, opposition Member of Parliament and law professor 
Ivo Josipovic was less upbeat about the capabilities of the Croatian 
judicial system than either Assistant Minister had been.  Josipovic 
agreed that the Ademi-Norac trial had been well-handled, but he said 
other trials had not gone as well, and that the State Prosecutor's 
Office remained heavily influenced, or at least constrained, by the 
government.  He acknowledged a significant quantity of media 
reporting on war crimes trials, but felt it was of poor quality, 
although he said that domestic NGOs monitoring the trials were doing 
good quality work. 
 
¶9.  (U) In a meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor, Amb. 
Williamson stressed the progress that Croatia had made in resolving 
issues with the ICTY. He noted the downgraded assessment being 
offered by the Prosecutor, though, and urged the government to work 
with the Tribunal to address this matter. More broadly, Williamson 
acknowledged that Croatia had made tremendous progress in the years 
since the war, reflected by Croatia's path toward NATO and the EU 
and the country's membership in the UN Security Council. He said 
that this evolution could serve as a positive model for other 
countries emerging from conflict or ethnic hostilities. He urged 
Croatia to get more involved in ongoing genocide/war crimes 
prevention initiatives such as the Global Futures Forum and Justice 
Rapid Response, suggesting that Croatia's experience recovering from 
the 1990's conflict would add value to these processes. Kosor 
indicated that she would be supportive of this, but she avoided 
specific discussion of what Croatia might be able to do. 
 
¶10. (U) Ambassador Williamson has cleared this cable. 
 
BRADTKE