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Cablegate: Zagreb Daily Report - February 3, 2010

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PP RUEHIK
DE RUEHVB #0077 0341231
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 031231Z FEB 10
FM AMEMBASSY ZAGREB
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9877
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

UNCLAS ZAGREB 000077

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL HR ECON
SUBJECT: Zagreb Daily Report - February 3, 2010

1. (U) Economy Minister Meets with Shipyard Unions; Announces Tender
Dates: Economy Minister Popijac met on February 2 with
representatives of the principal shipyard workers' unions to explain
the terms of the upcoming shipyard privatization tender. Unions
expressed cautious optimism to the media regarding the tenders'
prospects for success, despite the failure of a previous round to
generate any acceptable bids. The tender release date will be
February 15, with a closing date for bids of April 19. Note:
further comments on the shipyards made by the Minister to the
Ambassador in a meeting earlier on February 2 will be reported
septel.
2. (U) Judiciary Committee Backs Chief State Prosecutor's
Reappointment: The Croatian Parliament's Judiciary Committee on
February 2 endorsed the government's proposal for the reappointment
of Mladen Bajic for a third term as Chief State Prosecutor. Members
of the opposition Social Democratic Party (SDP) voted against
reappointment, criticizing Bajic for allegedly taking political
instructions in prosecuting corruption cases and questioning why
vigorous investigations only began after the resignation of Ivo
Sanader as prime minister last summer. Bajic countered that the new
Criminal Procedure Act, which went into effect last July with
significant input from post's ICITAP program and which granted
prosecutors most of the investigative powers previously held by
investigative judges, had provided the real impetus for the recent
wave of corruption investigations. At the hearing, Justice Minister
Ivan Simonovic also highlighted the role Bajic, who has worked in
the prosecutor's office since 1975, had played in amending laws
necessary for an effective fight against corruption and improving
the organization of the prosecutor's office. Simonovic also
highlighted Bajic's success in obtaining more results in war crime
prosecutions, noting that domestic handling of war crimes cases was
no longer a serious obstacle on Croatia's path to European Union
membership.

FOLEY

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