US embassy cable - 03ZAGREB925

WHO SHIELDED ICTY PIFWC IVICA RAJIC?

Identifier: 03ZAGREB925
Wikileaks: View 03ZAGREB925 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Zagreb
Created: 2003-04-28 05:50:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL//NOFORN
Tags: KAWC KJUS PREL HR UNSC ICTY War Crimes
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 ZAGREB 000925 
 
SIPDIS 
 
 
NOFORN 
 
STATE FOR S/WCI, EUR/SCE, INL/AAE, EUR/ACE, AND DRL 
THE HAGUE FOR JOHNSON/KAYE/WHEATON 
 
    E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/24/2013 
TAGS: KAWC, KJUS, PREL, HR, UNSC, ICTY, War Crimes 
SUBJECT: WHO SHIELDED ICTY PIFWC IVICA RAJIC? 
 
REF: ZAGREB 761 
 
CLASSIFIED BY: POLOFF ROBERT SILBERSTEIN, REASON 1.5 (B) AND (D) 
 
SUMMARY 
------- 
 
1. (C/NF) CROATIAN LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIALS TELL US THAT 
THEY HAVE UNCOVERED EVIDENCE OF A SYSTEMATIC, CLANDESTINE 
EFFORT OF THE FORMER HDZ GOVERNMENT TO SHIELD ETHNIC CROAT 
PIFWCS -- INCLUDING IVICA RAJIC -- FROM JUSTICE.  THEY HAVE 
LAUNCHED AN INVESTIGATION TO UPROOT THAT SUPPORT NETWORK AND 
INDICT ITS ORGANIZERS.  THEY SPECULATED THAT THERE IS OVERLAP 
BETWEEN THE RAJIC NETWORK AND THOSE THAT AID ICTY PIFWC ANTE 
GOTOVINA, BUT SAID THEY HAVE NO PROOF THUS FAR. 
 
2. (C/NF) WHILE THE INVESTIGATION MIGHT EMBARRASS THE HDZ, IT 
ALSO MIGHT RAISE QUESTIONS ABOUT HOW SUCH A NETWORK COULD 
CONTINUE TO OPERATE DURING THE RACAN GOVERNMENT'S MANDATE, 
PARTICULARLY AS THERE WERE INDICATIONS IN LATE 2000 OF AN 
ORGANIZED PIFWC PROTECTION EFFORT.  THE GOC WILL REQUIRE 
CONTINUED EXTERNAL PRESSURE TO ENSURE THAT IT PROSECUTES 
THOSE WHO SEEK TO STYMIE THE WORK OF THE ICTY.  END SUMMARY. 
 
STATUS OF THE RAJIC CASE 
------------------------ 
 
    3. (C) THE APRIL 5 ARREST IN SPLIT OF BOSNIAN CROAT ICTY 
FUGITIVE IVICA RAJIC BROUGHT TO A CLOSE AN EIGHT-MONTH 
MANHUNT CONDUCTED BY A SPECIAL UNIT OF THE CROATIAN POLICE 
(REFTEL).  THE CROATIAN SUPREME COURT ON APRIL 23 AUTHORIZED 
THE ZAGREB COUNTRY COURT TO ADJUDICATE THE ICTY TRANSFER 
PROCESS.  ALTHOUGH RAJIC'S ATTORNEY HAS FILED AN APPEAL 
DEMANDING THAT RAJIC'S TRIAL BE HELD IN CROATIA, OUR GOC 
CONTACTS TOLD US THE DEFENSE MOTION ONLY HAS NUISANCE VALUE 
AND THAT RAJIC WILL BE TRANSFERRED BY MID-MAY. 
 
INVESTIGATION DETAILS 
--------------------- 
 
4. (C/NF) ACCORDING TO DIRECTOR GENERAL OF POLICE RANKO 
OSTOJIC AND CHIEF PROSECUTOR MLADEN BAJIC, THE CROATIAN 
POLICE IN MID-2002 CAME ACROSS INFORMATION THAT RAJIC'S WIFE 
WAS LIVING IN A MINISTRY OF DEFENSE-OWNED APARTMENT AND WAS 
WORKING AT AN MOD FACILITY IN SPLIT.  A SMALL UNIT OF POLICE 
OFFICERS THAT OSTOJIC TRUSTED WAS FORMED TO STAKE OUT THE 
LOCATIONS -- AS WELL AS A CAFE THOUGHT TO BE OWNED BY RAJIC 
-- BUT THE TEAM HAD NOT BEEN ABLE TO IDENTIFY THE FUGITIVE. 
 
5. (C/NF) BAJIC TOLD US THAT THE BREAK IN THE CASE CAME ABOUT 
TWO MONTHS AGO, WHEN A LOCAL INFORMANT IN SPLIT GAVE POLICE 
NEW DETAILS ABOUT RAJIC'S COVER IDENTITY, ALLOWING THE POLICE 
TO ARREST THE PIFWC.  BAJIC SAID THAT THE CROATIAN POLICE 
RECEIVED NO OUTSIDE ASSISTANCE IN WHAT WAS A VERY CLOSE-HOLD 
CASE.  ON A NUMBER OF OCCASIONS, OSTOJIC TOLD US THAT HE 
WOULD NOT SHARE ANY DETAILS OF THE RAJIC OPERATION WITH HIS 
INTELLIGENCE SERVICE COLLEAGUES BECAUSE OF FEARS THAT 
HDZ-SYMPATHIZERS INSIDE THOSE ORGANIZATIONS WOULD TIP HIM OFF 
    AND DRIVE RAJIC DEEPER UNDERGROUND. 
 
WHO PROTECTED RAJIC? 
-------------------- 
 
6. (C) BAJIC SAID THAT HE AND OSTOJIC ARE PUSHING A "FURIOUS" 
INVESTIGATION TO IDENTIFY AND INDICT THOSE INDIVIDUALS THAT 
SHELTERED RAJIC.  BAJIC BELIEVES THAT THERE MUST BE OVERLAP 
BETWEEN THOSE WHO ABETTED RAJIC AND THOSE WHO FORMED THE 
SUPPORT NETWORK OF PIFWC ANTE GOTOVINA, ALTHOUGH THE POLICE 
HAVE NOT YET UNCOVERED EVIDENCE SUPPORTING HIS THESIS. 
 
7. (C/NF) IN THE COURSE OF THE RAJIC INVESTIGATION, CROATIAN 
AUTHORITIES SAY THAT THEY HAVE FOUND EVIDENCE OF A SYSTEMATIC 
EFFORT OF THE FORMER HDZ GOVERNMENT TO SHIELD ETHNIC-CROAT 
PIFWCS FROM ARREST.  THEY SHARED WITH US A JUNE 1998 BRIEFING 
PAPER PREPARED FOR PRESIDENT TUDJMAN BY THEN HEAD OF CROATIAN 
MILITARY INTELLIGENCE (SIS) MARKICA REBIC.  INTER ALIA, THE 
PAPER -- WHICH WE BELIEVE IS GENUINE -- OUTLINES CROATIAN 
EXTERNAL INTELLIGENCE SERVICE (HIS) COVERT OPERATIONS AGAINST 
ICTY AND EFFORTS TO OBTAIN ICTY DOCUMENTS REGARDING ONGOING 
INVESTIGATIONS. 
 
8. (C) THE DOCUMENT ALSO DESCRIBES HOW THE SIS PROTECTED 
 
ZAGREB 00000925  001.2 OF 002 
 
CROATIAN LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIALS TELL US THAT 
THEY HAVE UNCOVERED EVIDENCE OF A SYSTEMATIC, CLANDESTINE 
EFFORT OF THE FORMER HDZ GOVERNMENT TO SHIELD ETHNIC CROAT 
PIFWCS -- INCLUDING IVICA RAJIC -- FROM JUSTICE.  THEY HAVE 
LAUNCHED AN INVESTIGATION TO UPROOT THAT SUPPORT NETWORK AND 
INDICT ITS ORGANIZERS.  THEY SPECULATED THAT THERE IS OVERLAP 
BETWEEN THE RAJIC NETWORK AND THOSE THAT AID ICTY PIFWC ANTE 
GOTOVINA, BUT SAID THEY HAVE NO PROOF THUS FAR. 
 
2. (C/NF) WHILE THE INVESTIGATION MIGHT EMBARRASS THE HDZ, IT 
ALSO MIGHT RAISE QUESTIONS ABOUT HOW SUCH A NETWORK COULD 
CONTINUE TO OPERATE DURING THE RACAN GOVERNMENT'S MANDATE, 
PARTICULARLY AS THERE WERE INDICATIONS IN LATE 2000 OF AN 
ORGANIZED PIFWC PROTECTION EFFORT.  THE GOC WILL REQUIRE 
CONTINUED EXTERNAL PRESSURE TO ENSURE THAT IT PROSECUTES 
THOSE WHO SEEK TO STYMIE THE WORK OF THE ICTY.  END SUMMARY. 
 
STATUS OF THE RAJIC CASE 
------------------------ 

3. (C) THE APRIL 5 ARREST IN SPLIT OF BOSNIAN CROAT ICTY 
FUGITIVE IVICA RAJIC BROUGHT TO A CLOSE AN EIGHT-MONTH 
MANHUNT CONDUCTED BY A SPECIAL UNIT OF THE CROATIAN POLICE 
(REFTEL).  THE CROATIAN SUPREME COURT ON APRIL 23 AUTHORIZED 
THE ZAGREB COUNTRY COURT TO ADJUDICATE THE ICTY TRANSFER 
PROCESS.  ALTHOUGH RAJIC'S ATTORNEY HAS FILED AN APPEAL 
DEMANDING THAT RAJIC'S TRIAL BE HELD IN CROATIA, OUR GOC 
CONTACTS TOLD US THE DEFENSE MOTION ONLY HAS NUISANCE VALUE 
AND THAT RAJIC WILL BE TRANSFERRED BY MID-MAY. 
 
INVESTIGATION DETAILS 
--------------------- 
 
4. (C/NF) ACCORDING TO DIRECTOR GENERAL OF POLICE RANKO 
OSTOJIC AND CHIEF PROSECUTOR MLADEN BAJIC, THE CROATIAN 
POLICE IN MID-2002 CAME ACROSS INFORMATION THAT RAJIC'S WIFE 
WAS LIVING IN A MINISTRY OF DEFENSE-OWNED APARTMENT AND WAS 
WORKING AT AN MOD FACILITY IN SPLIT.  A SMALL UNIT OF POLICE 
OFFICERS THAT OSTOJIC TRUSTED WAS FORMED TO STAKE OUT THE 
LOCATIONS -- AS WELL AS A CAFE THOUGHT TO BE OWNED BY RAJIC 
-- BUT THE TEAM HAD NOT BEEN ABLE TO IDENTIFY THE FUGITIVE. 
 
5. (C/NF) BAJIC TOLD US THAT THE BREAK IN THE CASE CAME ABOUT 
TWO MONTHS AGO, WHEN A LOCAL INFORMANT IN SPLIT GAVE POLICE 
NEW DETAILS ABOUT RAJIC'S COVER IDENTITY, ALLOWING THE POLICE 
TO ARREST THE PIFWC.  BAJIC SAID THAT THE CROATIAN POLICE 
RECEIVED NO OUTSIDE ASSISTANCE IN WHAT WAS A VERY CLOSE-HOLD 
CASE.  ON A NUMBER OF OCCASIONS, OSTOJIC TOLD US THAT HE 
WOULD NOT SHARE ANY DETAILS OF THE RAJIC OPERATION WITH HIS 
INTELLIGENCE SERVICE COLLEAGUES BECAUSE OF FEARS THAT 
    HDZ-SYMPATHIZERS INSIDE THOSE ORGANIZATIONS WOULD TIP HIM OFF 
AND DRIVE RAJIC DEEPER UNDERGROUND. 
 
WHO PROTECTED RAJIC? 
-------------------- 
 
6. (C) BAJIC SAID THAT HE AND OSTOJIC ARE PUSHING A "FURIOUS" 
INVESTIGATION TO IDENTIFY AND INDICT THOSE INDIVIDUALS THAT 
SHELTERED RAJIC.  BAJIC BELIEVES THAT THERE MUST BE OVERLAP 
BETWEEN THOSE WHO ABETTED RAJIC AND THOSE WHO FORMED THE 
SUPPORT NETWORK OF PIFWC ANTE GOTOVINA, ALTHOUGH THE POLICE 
HAVE NOT YET UNCOVERED EVIDENCE SUPPORTING HIS THESIS. 
 
7. (C/NF) IN THE COURSE OF THE RAJIC INVESTIGATION, CROATIAN 
AUTHORITIES SAY THAT THEY HAVE FOUND EVIDENCE OF A SYSTEMATIC 
EFFORT OF THE FORMER HDZ GOVERNMENT TO SHIELD ETHNIC-CROAT 
PIFWCS FROM ARREST.  THEY SHARED WITH US A JUNE 1998 BRIEFING 
PAPER PREPARED FOR PRESIDENT TUDJMAN BY THEN HEAD OF CROATIAN 
MILITARY INTELLIGENCE (SIS) MARKICA REBIC.  INTER ALIA, THE 
PAPER -- WHICH WE BELIEVE IS GENUINE -- OUTLINES CROATIAN 
EXTERNAL INTELLIGENCE SERVICE (HIS) COVERT OPERATIONS AGAINST 
ICTY AND EFFORTS TO OBTAIN ICTY DOCUMENTS REGARDING ONGOING 
INVESTIGATIONS. 
 
8. (C) THE DOCUMENT ALSO DESCRIBES HOW THE SIS PROTECTED 
 
ZAGREB 00000925  002.1 OF 002 
 
SPECTS TO SFOR CAPTURE 
OPERATIONS AND ESTABLISHED SAFEHOUSES AND UNDERTOOK OTHER 
MEASURES (INCLUDING CHANGE OF IDENTITY) TO PROTECT THE 
INDICTEES.  BAJIC TELLS US THAT HE HAS ADDITIONAL INFORMATION 
THAT "CONFIRMS" THAT THE HDZ GOVERNMENT CHANNELED FUNDING FOR 
THE PIFWC PROTECTION OPERATIONS THROUGH HDZ MP LJUBO 
CESIC-ROJS (AT THE TIME ASSISTANT MINISTER OF DEFENSE FOR 
LOGISTICS), CIRO GRUBISIC, THEN-CROATIAN CONSUL GENERAL IN 
MOSTAR AND THE NOW-DEFUNCT HERCEGOVACKA BANKA. 
 
EU VISA BAN FOR PIFWC SUPPORTERS 
-------------------------------- 
 
8. (SBU) CROATIAN MEDIA IS RIFE WITH SPECULATION THAT THE EU 
REQUIRED THE GOC TO SUBMIT A LIST OF PERSONS SUSPECTED OF 
ABETTING PIFWC ANTE GOTOVINA FOR INCLUSION IN THE EU TRAVEL 
BAN "ON PERSONS IN THE FORMER YUGOSLAVIA INVOLVED IN THE 
EVASION OF JUSTICE" (ADOPTED AT THE EU GENERAL AFFAIRS 
COUNCIL APRIL 16).  PETER MARTIN, DEPUTY POLITICAL ADVISOR AT 
THE EC MISSION IN ZAGREB, SAID HE KNEW OF NO FORMAL EU 
REQUEST, BUT INDIVIDUAL MEMBER STATES MIGHT HAVE APPROACHED 
THE GOC.  FOR HIS PART, BAJIC TOLD US THAT HE WELCOMED EU AND 
U.S. EFFORTS TO STEP UP THE PRESSURE ON THOSE WHO AIDED AND 
ABETTED THE FLIGHT FROM JUSTICE OF INDICTED WAR CRIMINALS. 
 
COMMENT 
    ------- 
 
9.(C) MRS. RAJIC'S MOD APARTMENT AND JOB AND MR. RAJIC'S 
VALID IDENTITY DOCUMENTS IN A FALSE NAME POINT TO A 
COMPREHENSIVE SUPPORT NETWORK THAT INVOLVES OFFICIALS IN AT 
LEAST TWO MINISTRIES (DEFENSE AND INTERIOR).  WHILE THE REBIC 
DOCUMENT APPEARS TO CONFIRM THAT THE HDZ CREATED THAT SUPPORT 
NETWORK WHEN IT WAS IN POWER, THE FACT THAT RAJIC WAS ABLE TO 
REMAIN HIDDEN FOR THREE YEARS AFTER THE RACAN GOVERNMENT TOOK 
OFFICE -- AND LONG AFTER THE OTP RAISED RAJIC WITH THE GOC -- 
RAISES QUESTIONS ABOUT WHO IN THE GOC KNEW OF THE CLANDESTINE 
PIFWC SUPPORT, WHEN DID THEY KNOW IT AND WHAT, IF ANYTHING, 
DID THEY DO ABOUT IT. 
 
10.  (C) IF HISTORY IS A GUIDE, THE GOC WILL REQUIRE EXTERNAL 
PRESSURE TO ENSURE THAT IT PROSECUTES THOSE WHO SEEK TO 
STYMIE THE WORK OF THE ICTY.  IN SEPTEMBER 2000, CROATIAN 
POLICE RAIDED A NUMBER OF SAFEHOUSES IN THE ZADAR AREA AND 
ARRESTED TWO BOSNIAN WAR CRIMES SUSPECTS WANTED IN THE AHMICI 
MASSACRE IN CENTRAL BOSNIA IN 1993.  THE SUSPECTS HAD A 
NUMBER OF SETS OF LEGITIMATELY ISSUED CROATIAN IDENTITY 
DOCUMENTS IN DIFFERENT NAMES.  IN JUNE 2001, A MID-RANKING 
CROATIAN INTERNAL INTELLIGENCE SERVICE (SZUP) OFFICIAL AND A 
CROATIAN ARMY OFFICER WERE ACQUITTED FOR HAVING AIDED AND 
ABETTED THE SUSPECTS.  NO CHARGES AGAINST ANY OTHER OFFICIALS 
OR INDIVIDUALS WERE FILED AND THE PUBLIC CONTROVERSY EBBED. 
MOON 
 
ZAGREB 00000925  002.2 OF 002 
 
SPECTS TO SFOR CAPTURE 
OPERATIONS AND ESTABLISHED SAFEHOUSES AND UNDERTOOK OTHER 
MEASURES (INCLUDING CHANGE OF IDENTITY) TO PROTECT THE 
INDICTEES.  BAJIC TELLS US THAT HE HAS ADDITIONAL INFORMATION 
THAT "CONFIRMS" THAT THE HDZ GOVERNMENT CHANNELED FUNDING FOR 
THE PIFWC PROTECTION OPERATIONS THROUGH HDZ MP LJUBO 
CESIC-ROJS (AT THE TIME ASSISTANT MINISTER OF DEFENSE FOR 
LOGISTICS), CIRO GRUBISIC, THEN-CROATIAN CONSUL GENERAL IN 
MOSTAR AND THE NOW-DEFUNCT HERCEGOVACKA BANKA. 
 
EU VISA BAN FOR PIFWC SUPPORTERS 
-------------------------------- 
 
9. (SBU) CROATIAN MEDIA IS RIFE WITH SPECULATION THAT THE EU 
REQUIRED THE GOC TO SUBMIT A LIST OF PERSONS SUSPECTED OF 
ABETTING PIFWC ANTE GOTOVINA FOR INCLUSION IN THE EU TRAVEL 
BAN "ON PERSONS IN THE FORMER YUGOSLAVIA INVOLVED IN THE 
EVASION OF JUSTICE" (ADOPTED AT THE EU GENERAL AFFAIRS 
COUNCIL APRIL 16).  PETER MARTIN, DEPUTY POLITICAL ADVISOR AT 
THE EC MISSION IN ZAGREB, SAID HE KNEW OF NO FORMAL EU 
REQUEST, BUT INDIVIDUAL MEMBER STATES MIGHT HAVE APPROACHED 
THE GOC.  FOR HIS PART, BAJIC TOLD US THAT HE WELCOMED EU AND 
U.S. EFFORTS TO STEP UP THE PRESSURE ON THOSE WHO AIDED AND 
ABETTED THE FLIGHT FROM JUSTICE OF INDICTED WAR CRIMINALS. 
 
    COMMENT 
------- 
 
10.(C) MRS. RAJIC'S MOD APARTMENT AND JOB AND MR. RAJIC'S 
VALID IDENTITY DOCUMENTS IN A FALSE NAME POINT TO A 
COMPREHENSIVE SUPPORT NETWORK THAT INVOLVES OFFICIALS IN AT 
LEAST TWO MINISTRIES (DEFENSE AND INTERIOR).  WHILE THE REBIC 
DOCUMENT APPEARS TO CONFIRM THAT THE HDZ CREATED THAT SUPPORT 
NETWORK WHEN IT WAS IN POWER, THE FACT THAT RAJIC WAS ABLE TO 
REMAIN HIDDEN FOR THREE YEARS AFTER THE RACAN GOVERNMENT TOOK 
OFFICE -- AND LONG AFTER THE OTP RAISED RAJIC WITH THE GOC -- 
RAISES QUESTIONS ABOUT WHO IN THE GOC KNEW OF THE CLANDESTINE 
PIFWC SUPPORT, WHEN DID THEY KNOW IT AND WHAT, IF ANYTHING, 
DID THEY DO ABOUT IT. 
 
11.  (C) IF HISTORY IS A GUIDE, THE GOC WILL REQUIRE EXTERNAL 
PRESSURE TO ENSURE THAT IT PROSECUTES THOSE WHO SEEK TO 
STYMIE THE WORK OF THE ICTY.  IN SEPTEMBER 2000, CROATIAN 
POLICE RAIDED A NUMBER OF SAFEHOUSES IN THE ZADAR AREA AND 
ARRESTED TWO BOSNIAN WAR CRIMES SUSPECTS WANTED IN THE AHMICI 
MASSACRE IN CENTRAL BOSNIA IN 1993.  THE SUSPECTS HAD A 
NUMBER OF SETS OF LEGITIMATELY ISSUED CROATIAN IDENTITY 
DOCUMENTS IN DIFFERENT NAMES.  IN JUNE 2001, A MID-RANKING 
CROATIAN INTERNAL INTELLIGENCE SERVICE (SZUP) OFFICIAL AND A 
CROATIAN ARMY OFFICER WERE ACQUITTED FOR HAVING AIDED AND 
ABETTED THE SUSPECTS.  NO CHARGES AGAINST ANY OTHER OFFICIALS 
OR INDIVIDUALS WERE FILED AND THE PUBLIC CONTROVERSY EBBED. 
MOON 
 
NNNN 

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