Letter from Judge Gabrielle Kirk Mcdonald, the President of The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, to the President of the United Nations Security Council, concerning Croatia.
Please find below the full text of President McDonald’s letter to the President of the United Nations Security Council, dated the 27 September 1999.
27 September 1999
I have the honour to refer to my letter to the President of the Security Council of 25 August 1999, regarding the Republic of Croatia’s non-compliance with Article 29 of the International Tribunal’s Statute, and the letter of 22 September 1999 of Dr. Zvonimir Separovic, Minister of Justice of the Republic of Croatia, to you.
In his letter, Dr. Separovic refers to a meeting that he and other Croatian representatives had with me on 15 September 1999. He states that at that meeting the matter of the transfer of Mr. Mladen Naletilic was resolved to the ‘satisfaction of the Tribunal[’s] President and Prosecutor’. Moreover, Dr. Separovic further states that the issues relating to Operations ‘Flash’ and ‘Storm’, regarding which I found the Republic of Croatia to be in non-compliance in my letter of 25 August, are ‘on the verge of being resolved’. As these and other characterizations contained in Dr. Šeparovic’s letter are at variance with my understanding of our discussion, I would like to put the record straight on these matters. I would also note that the Prosecutor did not attend the meeting and that I have not discussed the meeting with her.
Regarding the transfer of Mr. Naletilic, in our meeting Dr. Separovic stated that the Government of the Republic of Croatia was fully committed to transferring Mr. Naletilic immediately and unconditionally. However, the Croatian delegation informed me that there were additional judicial proceedings that might have to take place under Croatian law and that they were uncertain as to when Mr. Naletilic would actually be transferred. They did inform me that the Croatian Government would vigorously oppose any and all attempts by Mr. Naletilic to delay his transfer to the International Tribunal and assured me that the Republic of Croatia would keep the International Tribunal fully informed of all developments in this regard. While I welcome the Republic of Croatia’s assurance of its commitment to the immediate and unconditional transfer of Mr. Naletilic, I must point out that until the transfer actually takes place the Republic of Croatia continues to be in non-compliance with its obligations under the Statute of the International Tribunal.
H.E. Ambassador Peter van Walsum President of the Security Council United Nations New York, NY 10017
Dr.Separovic and I also discussed Croatia’s non-compliance relating to Operations ‘Flash’ and ‘Storm’. During the course of our discussions, the Republic of Croatia informed me that it intended to propose an amendment to the International Tribunal’s Rules of Procedure and Evidence (‘Rules’), which in its view would address this situation. However, I should note that at no point did I agree with Dr Separovic’s statement that it was ‘unfortunate’ that the Rules contained or did not contain any particular provision or procedure. I welcome this proposal, as I welcome all proposals from Member States regarding possible improvements to the International Tribunal’s Rules, and I will request that the International Tribunal’s Judges consider any such proposal in due course. At this point, the International Tribunal has not received any proposal from the Republic of Croatia regarding an amendment to the Rules, much less agreed to its adoption. Therefore, it is not appropriate to speak of a ‘resolution’ of the Republic of Croatia’s non-compliance in this regard.
I am hopeful that this will clarify the record with respect to my findings of non-compliance by the Republic of Croatia, as outlined in my letter to the Security Council of 25 August 1999.
Please be assured, Excellency, of my highest consideration.
Gabrielle Kirk McDonald President