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Cablegate: Regional Prosecutors Meet On War Crimes Cooperation

VZCZCXRO4318
RR RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHDA RUEHDBU RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLA
RUEHLN RUEHLZ RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHVB #0956/01 2921355
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 191355Z OCT 07
FM AMEMBASSY ZAGREB
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 8245
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ZAGREB 000956

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR S/WCI WILLIAMSON
DEPT FOR EUR/SCE HOH AND BALIAN
DEPT FOR INR/MORIN
NSC FOR BRAUN
SARAJEVO FOR CARLIN
BELGRADE FOR NAZZARO
PODGORICA FOR LIE
PRISTINA FOR LUM

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KAWC ICTY PREL PGOV HR WAR CRIMES
SUBJECT: REGIONAL PROSECUTORS MEET ON WAR CRIMES COOPERATION

1. (U) SUMMARY: Between 2-4 October, on the island of Hvar in
Croatia, S/WCI and DoJ OPDAT hosted a regional conference on war
crimes cooperation that gathered Chief State Prosecutors and their
deputies from Bosnia, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia,
together with representatives of ICTY, USG, and OHR in Bosnia. The
conference addressed the transition in responsibility for
prosecuting war criminals from the ICTY to regional prosecutors,
focusing on the need for regional cooperation. Among the items
discussed were the transfer of cases from the ICTY, extradition
issues, State Prosecutors' efforts to compile an inventory of cases,
access to ICTY documents and archives, and the exchange of
information between State Prosecutors. The conference deepened
dialogue and the existing cooperation and laid out a path for
transition after ICTY's closure. Participants offered
recommendations for the transition, including enhancement of ICTY's
transition team presence in the region, training on database access,
and the creation of a standardized regional protocol for war crimes
prosecution. After reviewing current cooperation the participants
agreed that regional cooperation on war crimes generally is strong
and efficient. END SUMMARY.

Regional Cooperation Strong
---------------------------

2. (U) At the event, all state prosecutors agreed that cooperation
with regard to war crimes prosecutions was satisfactory and ongoing,
facilitated by bilateral agreements that allow direct cooperation
between state prosecutors in all criminal matters and that permit
the efficient and timely exchange of information. Regarding war
crimes prosecutions and ongoing investigations, Croatian Chief State
Prosecutor Mladen Bajic pointed to Croatian agreements on the
transfer of evidence with Serbia and Montenegro, which provide for
direct exchange and transfer of evidence between countries. These
agreements have helped alleviate the issue of non-extradition,
which, according to domestic legislation, prevents the extradition
of a citizen to a foreign country. To date, Croatia has
successfully transferred information pertaining to several cases to
Serbia and to Montenegro. Bosnia has not signed an agreement with
Croatia, Serbia or Montenegro because of a lack of domestic
political support.

Croatians to Share Methodology Regionally
---------------------------------------------

3. (U) Regional Prosecutors assessed cooperation with the ICTY as
very good, especially regarding the transfer of 11 bis cases. It
was agreed that Croatian prosecutors would share their database with
other participants. In particular, their methodology groups
information on war crimes cases by events, rather than by
individuals. It should provide a uniform practice of information
grouping and data compatibility, and will enhance the regional
exchange of information. Participants noted the need to compile a
regional inventory of cases so as to avoid duplication of
investigations. State Prosecutors from Croatia recommended
comprehensive training on ICTY's database, as until now they have
encountered difficulties in searching for files and evidence among
nine million different documents. Croatia's Deputy State Prosecutor
Dragan Novosel told participants it was necessary to train some
staff on electronic databases research, which ICTY offered to
regional prosecutors.

Recommendations and Conclusions
---------------------------------

4. (U) Draft conclusions of the conference, subject to revision by
the ICTY and the Prosecutors of Bosnia, Croatia, Macedonia,
Montenegro, and Serbia, are as follows:

BEGIN TEXT:

Reaffirming the conclusions of the Brijuni meeting, all parties will
continue to work towards their achievement. In addition:

- The ICTY Transition Team will continue to visit capitals.
- The ICTY will increase access to the Electronic Data System and
increase training.
- All parties will seek solutions to the problem of access to
protected information held by the ICTY or governments.
- Prosecutors in the region will provide inputs on issues and
capabilities that should be addressed in the ICTY legacy/residual
process, including the role of the transition team (or a similar
expert group) once the Tribunal closes.
- Prosecutors in the region will support trips to The Hague by
prosecutors and/or appropriate staff, working closely with the ICTY

ZAGREB 00000956 002 OF 002


to address language compatibility issues that might interfere with
the process.
- Croatia's Office of the Chief State Prosecutor will share its
database with other prosecutors' offices in the region and elicit
comments within 15 days.
- All parties will develop means to identify successful practices
and prosecutorial tools (such as the Croatian database) and
facilitate the sharing of information on these approaches between
offices.

Noting the utility of continuing discussions on a range of issues
addressed both at Brijuni and Hvar, parties agree to continue to
meet regularly to discuss the Brijuni process, as needed, and to
continue to consult informally as well. This cable was cleared by
S/WCI/Lavine. END TEXT

BRADTKE

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