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Cablegate: Media Reaction - Announcement of S/Wci Amb.

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ZAGREB 000014

SIPDIS

STATE FOR S/WCI (PROSPER), EUR/PA/PD (HORNBUCKLE);
INR/R/MR, PA-R/MR, EUR/SCE (NARDI), DRL
BELGRADE AND SARAJEVO FOR POL AND PAO
THE HAGUE FOR JOHNSON/KAYE/WHEATON

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KAWC PREL PGOV KPAO KMDR PREL PGOV KPAO KMDR HR HRKAWC
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION - ANNOUNCEMENT OF S/WCI AMB.
PROSPER VISIT TO ZAGREB SPARKS RENEWED DEBATE ON ICTY


SUMMARY
-------
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 02 ZAGREB 00014 01 OF 02 031500Z

1. THE JANUARY 2 ANNOUNCEMENT IN THE CROATIAN PRESS OF
THE UPCOMING VISIT OF S/WCI AMBASSADOR PIERRE PROSPER
SPARKED A USEFUL RENEWAL OF THE PUBLIC DEBATE ON
CROATIA'S STANDING WITH ICTY. PRESS COMMENTARIES WERE
MIXED. AT ONE END OF THE SPECTRUM WAS CRITICISM OF THE
GOVERNMENT FOR PUTTING INTEGRATION WITH NATO AND THE EU
AT RISK BY ITS "AUTISTIC" APPROACH TO COOPERATION. AT
THE OTHER WAS CRITICISM OF THE TRIBUNAL FOR ITS DELAY IN
SENDING A MEDICAL TEAM TO EXAMINE BOBETKO. THE AMCIT
ATTORNEY FOR FUGITIVE ICTY INDICTEE GENERAL ANTE
GOTOVINA RANTED THAT HIS CLIENT WILL NEVER SURRENDER
HIMSELF AND DERIDED THE U.S. POSITION ON ICTY AS
"HYPOCRITICAL" CONSIDERING THE USG REFUSAL TO JOIN THE
INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT. GOVERNMENT RESPONSES
GENERALLY WELCOMED THE VISIT AS AN OPPORTUNITY TO
EXPLAIN TO AMB. PROSPER HOW CROATIA IS COOPERATING WITH
THE TRIBUNAL. END SUMMARY.

2. THE CROATIAN PRESS ON JANUARY 2 REPORTED THAT S/WCI
AMBASSADOR PIERRE RICHARD PROSPER ANNOUNCED HIS
INTENTION TO VISIT BELGRADE, BANJA LUKA, SARAJEVO, AND
ZAGREB IN LATE JANUARY 2003. CROATIAN NEWS AGENCY HINA
ALSO REPORTED THAT AMBASSADOR PROSPER "ACCUSED THE THREE
COUNTRIES OF THE FAILURE TO COOPERATE WITH THE
INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL TRIBUNAL FOR FORMER YUGOSLAVIA
(ICTY). ... IN CROATIA, THE U.S. OFFICIAL WILL INSIST
ON THE ARREST OF GENERALS JANKO BOBETKO AND ANTE
GOTOVINA. 'ALL KNOW WHERE BOBETKO IS AND HE SHOULD BE
ARRESTED,' PROSPER SAID."

UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 03 ZAGREB 00014 01 OF 02 031500Z
3. CROATIAN MEDIA ON JANUARY 3 REPORTED ON A STATEMENT
BY THE CROATIAN EMBASSY IN WASHINGTON WHICH STATED THAT
"CROATIA ENJOYS GOOD COOPERATION WITH THE U.S. SPECIAL
AMBASSADOR FOR WAR CRIMES, PIERRE RICHARD PROSPER, AND
DURING HIS IMPENDING VISIT TO ZAGREB, WHERE HE WILL URGE
THE ARREST OF GENERALS SUSPECTED OF WAR CRIMES, IT WILL
BRIEF HIM ABOUT COOPERATION WITH THE HAGUE TRIBUNAL AND
THE CASE OF GENERAL JANKO BOBETKO. PROSPER'S VISIT TO
ZAGREB LATER THIS MONTH WILL BE AN OPPORTUNITY FOR
CROATIA'S AUTHORITIES TO BRIEF HIM ABOUT COOPERATION
WITH THE U.N. WAR CRIMES TRIBUNAL, DEVELOPMENTS IN THE
REGION SINCE HIS LAST VISIT, AS WELL AS ABOUT THE
OUTCOME OF THE BOBETKO CASE."

4. IN AN ARTICLE BY ITS FOREIGN AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT,
BRUNO LOPANDIC, ZAGREB-BASED GOVERNMENT-OWNED "VJESNIK"
ON JANUARY 3 REPORTED THAT CROATIAN DIPLOMATIC SOURCES
HAVE TOLD "VJESNIK" THAT "THERE IS NOTHING DRAMATIC IN
THE VISIT. AMBASSADOR PROSPER'S VISIT WILL BE AN
OPPORTUNITY TO INFORM HIM PERSONALLY ABOUT THE CROATIAN
GOVERNMENT ACTIONS IN CONNECTION WITH COOPERATION WITH
THE HAGUE TRIBUNAL. CROATIA IS NOT REFUSING TO
COOPERATE WITH THE HAGUE TRIBUNAL AND WE WILL TELL
AMBASSADOR PROSPER THAT CLEARLY."

5. THE SAME NEWSPAPER CARRIED AN ARTICLE BY ITS LEGAL
CORRESPONDENT, VLADO RAJIC, UNDER THE HEADLINE "WHY
ISN'T CARLA DEL PONTE SENDING MEDICAL EXPERTS TO EXAMINE
GENERAL BOBETKO," IN WHICH HE COMMENTED ON ICTY'S
FAILURE TO SEND A MEDICAL TEAM TO ZAGREB. IN THAT
CONTEXT, RAJIC ALSO COMMENTS ON AMBASSADOR PROSPER'S
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 04 ZAGREB 00014 01 OF 02 031500Z
ANNOUNCED VISIT AND WRITES: "THAT'S HOW IT HAS HAPPENED
THAT BOTH 'CASES,' BECAUSE OF WHICH DISSATISFIED
AMBASSADOR PROSPER WILL VISIT CROATIA, AN UNDEFINED DAY
IN JANUARY, ARE IN THE FUNCTION OF INCREASING OR
DECREASING PRESSURE ON OFFICIAL ZAGREB."

6. SPLIT-BASED GOVERNMENT-OWNED "SLOBODNA DALMACIJA,"
IN AN ARTICLE BY ITS FOREIGN AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT,
BISERA LUSIC, ALSO REPORTED ON CROATIAN DIPLOMATIC
SOURCES WHICH STATED THAT CROATIA "HAS NEVER GIVEN UP
COOPERATION WITH THE HAGUE, AND LAST YEAR SIMPLY USED
THE LEGAL POSSIBILITIES WHICH, BASED ON THE TRIBUNAL'S
STATUTE, WERE AT ITS DISPOSAL. ALSO, EXECUTIVE
GOVERNMENT REPRESENTATIVES DO NOT FORGET TO MENTION THAT
OFFICIAL ZAGREB HAD, IN THE BOBETKO CASE, IMMEDIATELY
ANNOUNCED THAT IT WOULD RESPECT THE APPEALS COUNCIL'S
DECISION, WHATEVER IT WAS. IT WILL EXPLAIN THIS IN THE
DIRECT CONVERSATION WITH THE AMERICAN ENVOY FOR WAR
CRIMES ISSUES."

7. ZAGREB-BASED MASS-CIRCULATION "JUTARNJI LIST" ON
JANUARY 3 CARRIES A COMMENTARY BY LUKA MISETIC, ANTE
GOTOVINA'S PURPORTED AMCIT ATTORNEY, WHO ALSO COMMENTS

UNCLASSIFIED

UNCLASSIFIED PTQ5684

PAGE 01 ZAGREB 00014 02 OF 02 031500Z
ACTION SWCI-00

INFO LOG-00 NP-00 AF-00 AMAD-00 CIAE-00 INL-00 DODE-00
DS-00 EUR-00 FBIE-00 UTED-00 VC-00 TEDE-00 INR-00
LAB-01 VCE-00 NSAE-00 PA-00 IRM-00 SS-00 TEST-00
USIE-00 R-00 IIP-00 DSCC-00 PRM-00 DRL-02 NFAT-00
SAS-00 /003W
------------------1FBF03 031501Z /38
R 031449Z JAN 03
FM AMEMBASSY ZAGREB
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 9133
INFO AMEMBASSY THE HAGUE
AMEMBASSY BELGRADE
AMEMBASSY SARAJEVO

UNCLAS SECTION 02 OF 02 ZAGREB 000014

SIPDIS

STATE FOR S/WCI (PROSPER), EUR/PA/PD (HORNBUCKLE);
INR/R/MR, PA-R/MR, EUR/SCE (NARDI), DRL
BELGRADE AND SARAJEVO FOR POL AND PAO
THE HAGUE FOR JOHNSON/KAYE/WHEATON

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KAWC PREL PGOV KPAO KMDR PREL PGOV KPAO KMDR HR HRKAWC
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION - ANNOUNCEMENT OF S/WCI AMB.
PROSPER VISIT TO ZAGREB SPARKS RENEWED DEBATE ON ICTY

ON AMBASSADOR PROSPER'S ANNOUNCED VISIT. MISETIC STATES
THAT GOTOVINA WILL NEVER TURN HIMSELF IN TO THE HAGUE
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 02 ZAGREB 00014 02 OF 02 031500Z
TRIBUNAL, AND THAT HE HAS TOLD "CROATIAN AND FOREIGN
POLITICIANS AND DIPLOMATS THAT THEY HAVE TO LIVE WITH
THIS FACT. MISETIC REACTED TO STATEMENTS BY PIERRE
RICHARD PROSPER, SPECIAL AMERICAN AMBASSADOR FOR WAR
CRIMES, WHO IN AN INTERVIEW WITH CROATIAN RADIO-
TELEVISION AND HINA REQUESTED THE ARREST OF GENERALS
GOTOVINA AND BOBETKO. MISETIC ASSESSED THIS STATEMENT
AS HYPOCRITICAL. 'THE U.S. IS REFUSING TO JOIN THE
PERMANENT INTERNATIONAL WAR CRIMES TRIBUNAL (NOTE: WE
ASSUME HE MEANS THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT. END
NOTE.), BECAUSE SUCH TRIBUNALS ARE POLITICIZED, AND IT
DOESN'T WANT ITS OFFICERS AND CITIZENS TO STAND TRIALS
AT SUCH TRIBUNALS. AT THE SAME TIME, PROSPER IS
REQUESTING THE ARREST OF A CROATIAN CITIZEN, GENERAL
GOTOVINA, WHO DOESN'T ACKNOWLEDGE THE INDICTMENT BECAUSE
HE CONSIDERS IT TO BE POLITICIZED. THAT'S
HYPOCRITICAL,' COMMENTED ATTORNEY MISETIC, WHO LIVES IN
CHICAGO."

8. RIJEKA-BASED "NOVI LIST" ON JANUARY 3 CARRIED A
COMMENTARY BY DAMIR GRUBISA UNDER THE HEADLINE "RENEWED
INCREASE OF AUTISM IN CROATIA," IN WHICH HE TOO
COMMENTED ON AMBASSADOR PROSPER'S ANNOUNCED VISIT.
GRUBISA COMMENTED: "THE LATEST, ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE
VISIT BY PIERRE RICHARD PROSPER, AMERICAN AMBASSADOR FOR
WAR CRIMES, AND HIS UNAMBIGUOUS CONDEMNATION OF CROATIA
BECAUSE OF ITS FAILURE TO EXTRADITE GENERALS BOBETKO AND
GOTOVINA, IS ANOTHER SERIOUS WARNING TO CROATIA THAT ITS
AUTISM WILL NOT TAKE IT TO THE WEST. ... THAT'S WHY
PROSPER'S VISIT IS VERY SIGNIFICANT: AMERICAN
AMBASSADOR IN ZAGREB HAS ALREADY CLEARLY ENOUGH, IN A
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 03 ZAGREB 00014 02 OF 02 031500Z
FEW RECENT STATEMENTS, WARNED CROATIA THAT IT MUST
FULFILL ITS COMMITMENTS, IF IT WANTS TO COUNT ON
AMERICAN SUPPORT. AT THIS MOMENT, REGARDLESS OF ITS
INVOLVEMENT IN PREPARATIONS FOR THE WAR IN THE GULF, THE
U.S. REMAINS A SERIOUS GUARANTOR OF THE DAYTON AGREEMENT
IMPLEMENTATION, WITHOUT WHICH THE HERITAGE OF WAR IN
THIS AREA CANNOT BE OVERCOME, AND PEACE AND SECURITY
AMONG FORMER YUGOSLAVIA SUCCESSOR COUNTRIES CANNOT BE
ESTABLISHED. THAT'S WHY WE NEED NATO MEMBERSHIP, ONE
DAY, AND IT MEANS AS SOON AS POSSIBLE."

9. POST WILL REPORT ON ADDITIONAL PRESS COVERAGE AND
COMMENTARIES AS THEY APPEAR.

ROSSIN

UNCLASSIFIED

>

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