Cablegate: Zagreb Daily Report - December 18, 2009

DE RUEHVB #0743 3521315
P 181315Z DEC 09



E.O. 12958: N/A
SUBJECT: Zagreb Daily Report - December 18, 2009

1. (SBU) Croatia upbeat about potential for progress at ICTY, but no
activity planned until after holiday recess: Gordan Markotic, who
headed the Croatian delegation to the December 16 ICTY hearing on
missing documents in the Gotovina case, told us today that the
atmosphere at the hearing was good and that his impression was that
Croatia is making progress. Markotic noted how the prosecutor had
admitted at the hearing that several categories of documents are no
longer at issue, and the sides agreed to meet under court
supervision to further discuss the status of documents. After
today, the court is recessed until January 11. Unless today's court
session amends its instructions, however, the previous ruling
freezing Croatia's examination of computers and documents seized
from three individuals associated with Gotovina's defense will
remain in force over the recess.

2. (U) GoC arrests former high-ranking Special Police officer for
obstruction of war crimes case: On December 17, prosecutors arrested
former Deputy Chief of the Special Police, Zelko Sacic on charges of
interfering in the investigation of war crimes committed in the
village of Grubori near Knin in August, 1995. At least five other
individuals, in addition to Sacic, were arrested on Thursday. In
the Grubori case, prosecutors are investigating 17 members of
Special Police, including five current employees of the Ministry of
Interior, for the murder of five Serb civilians and arson in the
village following operation "Storm." Press speculate that in
addition to charges related to witness intimidation and an order to
suspend the original investigation in 1995, Sacic could also be
charged with command responsibility for the Grubori killings.
During testimony at the ICTY in the trial of General Markac, Sacic's
former commander, the ex-police coordinator for Knin, Stjepan Buhin,
accused Sacic of concealing evidence in the Grubori case.


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