Cablegate: Petrac Arrest Seen As Progress Toward Gotovina
UNCLAS ZAGREB 001441
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KAWC PREL HR
SUBJECT: PETRAC ARREST SEEN AS PROGRESS TOWARD GOTOVINA
1. (SBU) The August 31 arrest in Greece of fugitive
Croatian businessman and organized crime figure Hrvoye
Petrac is widely perceived in Croatia as another step
in the GoC's plan to put pressure on war crimes
indictee Ante Gotovina. As a close Gotovina associate,
Petrac is thought to have financed Gotovina's flight.
Petrac himself was arrested on a warrant connected with
his conviction in absentia for a 2004 kidnapping.
2. (U) President Mesic told the press Petrac's arrest
was "proof that Croatian services cannot do much if a
fugitive is in another country" (justifying the lack of
success in locating Gotovina), but complimented
Croatian authorities on taking the initiative to seek
assistance foreign services. PM Sanader, speaking in
Gdansk, Poland, linked Petrac's arrest directly to the
GoC's "Action Plan" for achieving full cooperation
with the ICTY, asserting that the Action Plan had
yielded results and this should be taken into account
when assessing Croatia's cooperation.
3. (SBU) Charge congratulated the MFA on this arrest
and expressed the hope that the authorities can use the
momentum generated by the Petrac arrest to continue
wrapping up Gotovina's financial support network and
keep up the pressure on Gotovina to appear in the
Hague, which is the only way to achieve "full
cooperation" with the ICTY.
4. (U) We propose the following points as press
-- The U.S. welcomes the arrest on August 30 by Greek
authorities of Hrvoje Petrac.
-- We encourage the Government of Croatia to use this
momentum to pursue completion of its action plan.
-- The U.S. continues to call on Croatia to fulfill
its international obligations to the ICTY. This
includes the apprehension and transfer of Ante Gotovina
to the Hague.
-- Only the appearance of Gotovina in the Hague
constitutes full cooperation with the ICTY, which is
necessary for Croatia to demonstrate the shared values
necessary for integration into Euro-Atlantic