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Cablegate: Little Impact On Croatia-Montenegro Relations From

VZCZCXRO0068
RR RUEHPOD
DE RUEHVB #1018 3231429
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 191429Z NOV 07
FM AMEMBASSY ZAGREB
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 8339
INFO RUEHBW/AMEMBASSY BELGRADE 1989
RUEHPOD/AMEMBASSY PODGORICA
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 1037

UNCLAS ZAGREB 001018

SIPDIS

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

FOR EUR/SCE AND S/WCI

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV MARR HR MW IT WAR CRIMES
SUBJECT: LITTLE IMPACT ON CROATIA-MONTENEGRO RELATIONS FROM
SURPRISE BRCIC ARREST

REF: (A) PODGORICA 353 (B) MICHELI 13/11/07 EMAIL

1. (SBU) Discussing the 4 November arrest of Montenegrin Navy
Captain Ilija Brcic, Montenegrin First Counselor Vesna
Nikcevic told PolOff that she expects Brcic will eventually
be extradited to Croatia where he will face a new trial
following his 1993 conviction in absentia. Nikcevic claimed
the GOM was unaware of Brcic's conviction, at least on a
level which could have prevented him from traveling to Italy
(although ref B indicates Brcic himself knew of the charges).
She acknowledged the situation was embarrassing as
information about his conviction was readily available on the
Internet. She speculated Brcic previously traveled to Greece
without incident because his plane arrived at a military
facility which lacked some of the screening found at the
commercial airport in Rome. She said the incident has
prompted the Montenegrin Prime Minister to declare reforms to
Montenegro's employment policies for new official personnel.
All personnel will be screened against lists of indicted war
criminals. Anyone found on such a list will be ineligible
for government or military employment.

2. (SBU) Nikcevic claimed the GOM has been forward-leaning
and cooperative with the GOC in efforts to extradite Brcic.
They view this as a personal issue of Brcic's which he must
largely resolve on his own. Nikcevic did not foresee any
negative impact on Montenegro's strong relationship with
Croatia. She indicated the GOC appeared as surprised about
the sudden arrest as the GOM. She did not believe Croatian
officials had highlighted Brcic's travel to the Italians
prior to his arrest. Post is aware, however, that Croatian
State Prosecutor previously provided a list of indicted
individuals to the GOSAM about one year ago, and that Brcic's
name and conviction appears on that list.
BRADTKE

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