UN Security Council Debate on ICTY/ICTR

Stalni predstavnik RH pri Ujedinjenim narodima, veleposlanik Ranko Vilovic, održao je govor na javnoj raspravi Vijeca sigurnosti UN-a o Medunarodnim kaznenim sudovima za bivšu Jugoslaviju i Ruandu.

Allow me at the outset to congratulate you, Madame President, on the assumption of the presidency of the Security Council for this month and express our confidence that under your able guidance, the Council will successfully undertake its many duties and responsibilities and conclude another challenging year. At the same time, let me extend my appreciation to President Robinson and President Byron, as well as Prosecutors Brammertz and Jallow for their detailed reports on the work of the Tribunals, as well as on the progress and challenges in implementation of their Completion Strategy. Madame President, The Tribunals' determined performance aimed at the steadfast prosecution of perpetrators of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide, has not only served as a basis for an emerging culture of accountability, but as a staunch reminder that severe crimes, committed by whoever, will not go unpunished. Croatia recognizes the efforts of the Tribunals' to comply with an elaborated strategy for finalization of their groundbreaking work and their transformation towards residual mechanisms. However, aware of “unprecedented challenges faced by the ICTY”, as stated in Judge Robinson's Report, we firmly believe that this widely desired legitimate objective should not be pursued at the expense of the mandate within which the ICTY was established, nor compromise full respect for due process standards. In this context, let me particularly stress that the ICTY mandate could not be considered accomplished without bringing to justice the two remaining fugitives, Ratko Mladic and Goran Hadžic, indicted for the gravest atrocities in Europe after the Second World War – namely the massacres in Srebrenica and Vukovar. Madame President, Croatia remains strongly committed to its unequivocal cooperation with the Tribunal. This commitment is largely demonstrated by the prompt execution of all orders and other binding decisions of the Tribunal, as well as by full compliance with the assistance requests received from the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP). To date, Croatia received and completely fulfilled 883 such requests. In regard to one request in the Gotovina et al. case which the OTP considered to have been only partially fulfilled, Prime Minister Madam Kosor established last fall a Special Task Force in order to further intensify and broaden ongoing administrative investigation, as well as to improve its quality and efficiency in line with the suggestions received from the Prosecutor's Office,. My delegation welcomes Prosecutor's Brammertz's comments on the professionalism of the Task Force, as well as his recognition that the Task Force has begun to explore important new avenues in the investigation. Equally so, my delegation appreciates Prosecutor's Brammertz assessment in which he stated that, Croatia is generally responsive to the OTP's requests for assistance, which are answered adequately and access is provided to witnesses and evidence. Regarding the Prosecutor's Brammertz remark on possible inconsistencies revealed in the Task Force's last three reports, my delegation would like to confirm the strong commitment of competent Croatian authorities, to continue their work and further clarify those issues, including through opening new avenues as suggested by the Office of the Prosecutor. At the same time, my delegation appreciates all the support for the activities of the Task Force extended today by the members of this august body, which we take as an important additional acknowledgment of our efforts. Over the reporting period, Croatian officials at the highest level remained engaged in direct dialogue with the Tribunal and Prosecutor, while the Ministry of Justice and the Office of the State Prosecutor continued to nurture close and intense working relationships with the Prosecutor's Office. Prosecutor Brammertz visited Zagreb on 20/21 October 2010 and met with the President, Prime Minister, members of the Council for Cooperation with International Criminal Courts (Prime Minister, Minister of Justice, Minister of Interior, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister of Defence), State Prosecutor, as well as members of the Task Force. Madame President, This reporting period has been marked by the final decision of Trial Chamber I on this very last open issue. On 26 July 2010, after extensive litigation which lasted more than two years, during which Croatia produced 16 reports and introduced a significant number of documents, performed a great number of investigative activities and brought criminal charges against 19 individuals (4 have already being convicted), Trial Chamber I has decided to deny the Prosecution motion. By this decision, Trial Chamber I explicitly recognized Croatia's proactive cooperation with the Tribunal as well as indicated that “… new information is received on an ongoing basis”. By applying common sense in this delicate matter, Trial Chamber I not only “declined to order Croatia to produce documents due to uncertainties surrounding the whereabouts of the documents”, but also concluded that uncertainties regarding the creation of the documents, as well as uncertainties regarding their continued existence or accessibility to Croatia, have prevented Croatia from locating and delivering the documents requested. Documented position of Croatia, as well as its proactive approach, obviously led Trial Chamber I to the opinion that it would be of no avail to issue further orders to Croatia, when, after careful consideration of each and every document requested, serious doubt on ability of Croatia to produce the aforementioned documents still prevails. Madame President, In full respect of the decision of Trial Chamber I, Croatia is strongly determined to proceed with its investigation and continue to undertake all reasonable and feasible measures at its disposal in order to clarify this matter. Croatia is absolutely aware that cooperation of states in the region remains crucial for the successful accomplishment of the ICTY mandate and meeting its completion strategy goals and will do our share in that regard. As the Tribunal is beginning to downsize, strengthening relationships between the Office of the Prosecutor and national prosecutorial authorities is becoming increasingly important. A considerable part of the Tribunal's legacy is aimed at strengthening capacities of national jurisdictions to continue fight against impunity through appropriate adjudication of grave violations of international humanitarian law. Croatia is determined to continue with domestic efforts to prosecute all war crimes committed on its territory since 1991, and in that context, we deem particularly important further enhancement of the working relationship with the ICTY, as well as continuous strengthening of cooperation between prosecutorial and judicial authorities in the region. In conclusion, Madame President, let me express our sincere gratitude to Ambassador Mayr-Harting of Austria and his team, who, while presiding over the Informal Working Group on International Tribunals, have made tireless efforts in setting up a residual mechanism to replace the Tribunals. It is our understanding that this work is now at its end, and we hope that the agreed solutions, in particular regarding the management of archives, the protection of witnesses and the serving of sentences, will help safeguard the Tribunal's legacy and successful fulfillment of its residual functions.