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Reported Murder of Milan Levar in Croatia.

Press Release . Communiqué de presse

(Exclusively for the use of the media. Not an official document)



The Hague, 30 August 2000



Yesterday the Prosecutor’s Office received reports that a Croatian citizen, Milan Levar, was murdered on 28 August at his residence in Gospic, Croatia.

Any murder investigation is properly a matter for the Croatian authorities. The Prosecutor has no information which suggests that Mr. Levar’s death was in any way associated with his dealings with the Tribunal. However, having regard to the fact that questions arising out of Mr. Levar’s death are being directed towards the Tribunal concerning the safety of potential witnesses, the
Prosecutor believes it is necessary to make the following clarification.

Staff of the Prosecutor’s Office interviewed Mr. Levar during 1997 and 1998 in relation to investigations being conducted by the Tribunal. Following these interviews, protective measures were offered to him, however, instead he chose to approach the media to give details of his co-operation and interviews with the Tribunal. Notwithstanding this, Mr. Levar indicated that he wished
to remain in Croatia and asked the Prosecutor to approach the Croatian Government to request that arrangements be made to provide protection for himself, his family and his property.

In response to this request, on 1 April 1998, the Prosecutor wrote to the Croatian Government requesting that protection be provided to Mr. Levar, a potential Tribunal witness. On 15 April the Croatian Government acknowledged that it would accept this responsibility. Since that time there has been no contact between Mr. Levar and the Prosecutor’s staff.

The Prosecutor regrets the unfortunate death of Mr. Levar, however, this is not a situation where the Tribunal had entered into any agreement with this potential witness to provide protection to him or his family.