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Cablegate: Zagreb Weekly Activity Report - January 16, 2008

VZCZCXRO4631
PP RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHDA RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLN
RUEHLZ RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHVB #0029 0170812
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 170812Z JAN 08
FM AMEMBASSY ZAGREB
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8478
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY

UNCLAS ZAGREB 000029

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

FOR EUR/SCE, EUR/PPD, EUR/RPM AND EUR/ERA
OSD FOR WINTERNITZ

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL ECON PGOV ICTY EUC HR
SUBJECT: ZAGREB WEEKLY ACTIVITY REPORT - JANUARY 16, 2008


1. (SBU) US CONTINUES ENGAGEMENT ON ICTY LEGACY, WAR CRIMES
ISSUES:
S/WCI and SCE visitors traveled to Croatia on January 13-14
to examine ICTY legacy issues in the region and regional
cooperation on war crimes. Along with Poloff, the visitors
met in Osijek and Vukovar with county court judges and with a
local NGO involved in war crimes monitoring. Court officials
praised Post's now-completed War Crimes project, which
provided training to judges on war crimes adjudications.
They expressed the need for similar programming/communication
with the ICTY in order to ensure a smooth transition upon the
ICTY's closure. Regarding ICTY's closure and the process for
Category II evidence transfer, they indicated that many
outstanding issues remain. Leading NGO Center for Peace also
called on the ICTY to assist in case transition, particularly
in reaching out to witnesses, and called on judges and
prosecutors to be more activist in their approach to witness
support. They cited the Ademi-Norac 11 bis transfer and the
Glavas cases as high-profile examples. They were satisfied
that OSCE will remain to continue war crimes monitoring,
noting that it has outstanding expertise that will need to be
transferred to local institutions before its final departure.
Judges in Osijek and Vukovar believe they do have the
capacity to try crimes domestically, and that effective
regional cooperation is due in large part to the
relationships that have been established between judges and
prosecutors in the region. Judges cited their joint efforts
with Serbian counterparts on such cases as Lovas (indictments
against many individuals both in Serbia and Croatia for
civilian murders near Vukovar) and Miroslav Radic (one of the
ICTY "Vukovar Three" defendants now facing an indictment in
Croatia). (KSelinger)

2. (U) EC TEMPORARILY BLOCKS CROATIA PRE-ACCESSION FUNDS:
Citing weak administrative capacity and dissatisfied with the
GOC,s failure to prepare new tenders for pre-accession funds
during the last quarter of 2007, the European Commission has
temporarily frozen the signing of new contracts for EU-funded
projects in Croatia. The move, although dramatic, is largely
symbolic, as there are currently no contracts pending
signature, due to the fact that there have been no project
tenders for the last few months. This has not prevented
opposition politicians and the press from seizing the issue,
citing it as another indication of the failure of PM
Sanader,s government to manage Croatia,s relations with
Brussels and suggesting that Croatia could be at risk of
losing EU money entirely. The Commission has told the GOC it
will consider lifting the freeze at the end of February if
problems are rectificed and capacity bolstered. If this is
done, the disbursement of pre-accession funds would resume
and it is unlikely that Croatia would lose any of the
estimated 140 million euros it is set to receive in 2008.
(NBerliner)
BRADTKE

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