Search

 

Cablegate: Croatian Icj Strategy After Bih Verdict

VZCZCXRO5760
PP RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHDA RUEHDBU RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLA
RUEHLN RUEHLZ RUEHROV RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHVB #0219 0641540
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 051540Z MAR 07
FM AMEMBASSY ZAGREB
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7375
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS ZAGREB 000219

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT FOR EUR/SCE, S/WCI, INR
DEPT PLEASE PASS TO NSC BRAUN
THE HAGUE FOR SCHILDGE, RUPPERT, MANNING, ALEXANDER

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL KAWC PGOV HR WAR CRIMES
SUBJECT: CROATIAN ICJ STRATEGY AFTER BIH VERDICT

REF: 06 ZAGREB 366

1. (SBU) SUMMARY AND COMMENT: While the Croatian media
reacted with outrage to the recent International Court of
Justice (ICJ) ruling finding Serbia not responsible for
genocide in BiH, official GoC reaction has been decidedly
measured. While still waiting for the ICJ to accept its own
genocide case against Serbia, the GoC is carefully studying
its options in what seems to have become a no-win issue for
Croatian leaders. Top legal experts believe an out-of-court
settlement may be the best way to achieve Croatia's goals,
but politicians cannot afford talk of withdrawing the case in
the run-up to what is likely to be a tightly contested
parliamentary election in November. The GoC's most likely
course of action is to quietly continue with case
preparations while not so secretly hoping the ICJ will delay
a decision on accepting the case until after the elections.
END SUMMARY AND COMMENT.

BiH VERDICT MIXED INDICATOR FOR CROATIAN CASE
---------------------------------------------

2. (U) Professor Ivan Simonovic, deputy dean of the Zagreb
law faculty and Croatia's agent before the ICJ, stressed to
reporters that the BiH verdict did not absolve Serbia, but
rather held it responsible for not preventing genocide and
for failing to punish the perpetrators. This will carry
far-reaching political repercussions for Serbia. In
addition, the ICJ's acceptance of jurisdiction over the BiH
case is a good sign for Zagreb, as the ICJ denied
jurisdiction when Croatia first submitted a case against
Serbia in 1999.

3. (SBU) International law expert Ivo Josipovic, a Member of
Parliament and one of Simonovic's fellow professors at the
law faculty, told PolOff March 2 that he was not optimistic
about Croatia's case against Serbia. He predicted the ICJ
would again deny jurisdiction or refuse the case on its
merits, as the court held to a very narrow definition of
genocide in the BiH verdict.

4. (SBU) Josipovic pointed out that the GoC had a better
chance of convincing the ICJ of direct linkages between
Belgrade and crimes committed within Croatia, a key point BiH
lawyers failed to prove. While BiH relied extensively on
international experts and other secondary evidence, according
to Josipovic, Croatia's case is based on primary source
documents showing direct communication between Serbia and
Serb forces in Croatia.

POLITICS PREVENTS CASE WITHDRAWAL
---------------------------------

5. (SBU) While both Simonovic and Josipovic see an
out-of-court settlement as the most likely avenue to any
reparations for Croatia, election year politics prevent the
GoC from publicly considering withdrawing its case against
Serbia. The BiH verdict has already given fodder to parties
on Croatia's far right, and withdrawing the GoC's case would
be political suicide for the ruling party, Josipovic said.
The best the GoC can hope for now, according to Josipovic, is
a delay in the ICJ's decision on jurisdiction until after
November elections.
DELAWIE

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On The Chemical Weapons Attack (and Response) In Syria

The past week’s headlines about the chemical attacks in Syria – and the military response by the US, France and Britain – have tended to overshadow a few of the downstream outcomes. More>>

ALSO:

Pacific Moves: China, Vanuatu And Australia

Washington’s vigilant deputy, doing rounds on the beat in the Pacific, has been irate of late. The central issue here is the continuing poking around of China in an area that would have been colloquially termed in the past “Australia’s neighbourhood”. More>>

ALSO:

Diplomatic Madness: The Expulsion of Russian Diplomats

How gloriously brave it seemed, some 23 nations coming together like a zombie collective to initiate a fairly ineffectual action in of itself: the expulsion of Russian diplomats or, as they preferred to term it, intelligence operatives. More>>

ALSO:


Campbell On: the US demonising of Iran

Satan may not exist, but the Evil One has always been a handy tool for priests and politicians alike. Currently, Iran is the latest bogey conjured up by Washington to (a) justify its foreign policy interventions and (b) distract attention from its foreign policy failures. More

ALSO:

Cyclone Gita: 70% Of Tonga Population Affected

The full scale of destruction is beginning to emerge from Tonga in the aftermath of the severe tropical cyclone Gita. Around 50,000 people, or almost 70% of the country’s population, have been affected, a third of whom are children. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC