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Cablegate: Zagreb Weekly Activity Report - August 28, 2009

VZCZCXRO3443
PP RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHDA RUEHDBU RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLA
RUEHLN RUEHLZ RUEHNP RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHSK RUEHSL RUEHSR RUEHVK
RUEHYG
DE RUEHVB #0524 2401212
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 281212Z AUG 09
FM AMEMBASSY ZAGREB
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9487
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY

UNCLAS ZAGREB 000524

SIPDIS

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

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV HR
SUBJECT: ZAGREB WEEKLY ACTIVITY REPORT - AUGUST 28, 2009

1. (U) CHIEF STATE PROSECUTOR TESTIFIES IN GOTOVINA TRIAL IN
THE HAGUE:
Croatian Chief State Prosecutor Mladen Bajic testified this
week before the International Criminal Tribunal for the
former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in the trial of Generals Gotovina,
Markac, and Cermak. Bajic, who was a Deputy Military
Prosecutor in Split from 1992 to 1996, testified that most
crimes against Serb civilians in the aftermath of Operation
Storm were committed by demobilized army personnel who were
still wearing uniforms. Bajic noted that, as a prosecutor, he
felt no pressure from superiors to prevent prosecution of
Croatians for war crimes. He also said that since most of the
post-Storm crimes were not committed by active Croatian Army
soldiers, commanders did not have responsibility nor
influence over those crimes and that such cases were
forwarded to civilian prosecutors. He noted that prosecution
of perpetrators of crimes against Serbian civilians began in
2000 when the ICTY transferred a great deal of evidence to
Croatia. Bajic reported to Poloff that he met with ICTY
prosecutor Brammertz while in the Hague and that Brammertz
thought his testimony was fair. (CZimmer)

2. (U) ONE PERSON KILLED, ONE INJURED IN DEMINING ACCIDENT:
One Croatian deminer died and another was seriously injured
while working on a demining project in Petrinja near Sisak.
This brings the number of deaths due to landmines for 2009 to
three. The company involved, Heksogen, worked on several
USG-funded projects, however the site of this incident was
being demined with Croatian government funds. (CZimmer)

3. (U) U.S. COMPANY NORTRHOP GRUMMAN LIKELY TO BID ON
CROATIAN SHIPYARDS:
Daily paper Jutarnji List reports that the U.S. company
Northrop Grumman has purchased tender documentation for two
Croatian shipyards, Kraljevica and 3.maj, which are among six
Croatian shipyards being privatized by the government in
order to meet EU accession requirements. Northrop Grumman is
reportedly interested in using the shipyards for refit and
repair projects, though the company remains open to the
possibility of resuming commercial shipbuilding. The press
has also reported on several other interested parties,
including many with local business ties, who have purchased
the documentation for the shipyard privatizations. To date,
however, Northrop Grumman is the only U.S. company reported
to have done so. The tender deadline is September 30, 2009
at 14:00. (DMatijas)

4. (U) EMBASSY CO-ORGANIZES AMERICAN STUDIES SEMINAR FOR
ENGLISH TEACHERS:
Working with Croatia's Education and Teacher Training Agency,
the U.S. Embassy helped organize an American studies seminar
for more than 180 Croatian English teachers from five
counties in eastern Croatia. Four of the five featured
workshops at the seminar included U.S. speakers. Author
James Beschta delivered a lecture titled "Poetry of Place:
Reading and Teaching American Poetry." PolEcon Counselor Rick
Holtzapple engaged the audience in a discussion on the
American political system and U.S.-Croatian relations, while
Econ Officer Derek Westfall spoke about the U.S. economy and
its influence upon Croatia. Additionally, U.S. Fulbright
scholar Larisa Buhin discussed contemporary U.S. society,
explaining how changing demographics in the U.S. and our
evolving understanding of diversity are influencing U.S.
education. The seminar was particularly valuable in that it
reached a large audience far from the capital with less
exposure to our programs, and should lead to a multiplier
effect as the teachers share what they heard with a broad
range of elementary and high school students. (MCrnjakovic)
WALKER

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