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Cablegate: Zagreb Daily Report: January 7, 2010

VZCZCXRO2545
PP RUEHIK
DE RUEHVB #0012 0071329
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 071329Z JAN 10
FM AMEMBASSY ZAGREB
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9789
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY

UNCLAS ZAGREB 000012

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV HR
SUBJECT: ZAGREB DAILY REPORT: JANUARY 7, 2010

1. (U) RULING COALITION SUPPORTS PM KOSOR: Following its
decision to expel former PM Ivo Sanader from party
membership, the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) leadership
headed by Prime Minister and party president Jadranka Kosor
met January 5 with its coalition partners, the Croatian
Peasant Party (HSS), the Croatian Social Liberal Party
(HSLS), and the Independent Democratic Serb Party (SDSS).
All participants expressed faith in the stability of the
ruling coalition, and PM Kosor stated that the coalition was
"stronger than ever." HSS president Josic Friscic said that
Kosor has shown the HDZ had only one president, and the new
president of the HSLS, Darinko Kosor, noted that much more
important issues now awaited the government. Milorad Pupovac
of the SDSS said that no one should seek to destabilize the
government at this point, but he added that the government
should revise its program and "liberate itself from the
legacy of old coalition agreements." A meeting of the ruling
coalition is expected to take place within two weeks to
discuss proposals from coalition partners about the future
functioning of the government.

2. (U) PRESIDENT MESIC COMMUTES SENTENCE OF CONTROVERSIAL WAR
CRIMINALS: President Mesic reduced the sentence of Sinisa
Rimac from eight to seven years for the illegal detention,
abuse, and murder of Serb civilians in Pakracka Poljana in
1991. The original 1999 trial resulted in minimal sentences
or acquittals for the six individuals on trial for the 1991
war crimes, but a 2005 retrial ordered by the Supreme Court
resulted in harsher punishments of three to 12 years for five
of the defendants, including the eight year sentence for
Rimac. In a separate case, Rimac admitted to involvement in
the killing of a Serb family in Zagreb, including a
12-year-old girl, but all suspects were acquitted in a 1992
trial due to procedural errors in the investigation. Mesic's
office has not yet issued an explanation for his decision to
commute the sentence.
WALKER

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