Statement by Justice Louise Arbour Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia on her request to the President of the Tribunal asking her to report Croatia's non-cooperation to the Security Council
On July 19 1999, I had meetings in Zagreb, Croatia, with Minister of Justice Separovic and Foreign Minister Granic. The main object of our discussion was my grave concern about the level of cooperation my office has been receiving from the Croatian authorities.
I drew the attention of both Ministers to a long list of our requests for assistance that remain unanswered. I put it to them that for some considerable time now Croatia has in fact not been discharging its obligation to cooperate with the Tribunal in a satisfactory manner, and explained to them that I consider that I now have no option but to request the President of the ICTY to report the situation to the Security Council.
On 22 June 1999, I presented to Croatia a Consolidated Request for Assistance, representing many outstanding unanswered inquiries, some going back to 1996, and renewed many times. I requested an answer within three weeks, and was informed that it might be a few months before I would be provided with some answers. Other answers, I was told, would not be provided because they related to ‘Operation Storm’, or involved matters of national security, or would be offensive to the dignity of the Croatian people, or would require turning over all of Croatia’s military archives.
I have today filed a request with the President of the Tribunal, asking her to report Croatia’s non-cooperation to the Security Council. Two weeks ago, when I met with Croatian Government Ministers, I told them that I would be prepared to withdraw from today’s initiative if they had urgently responded to all of my outstanding requests. I did consider it fair to give the Government notice of my intention.