He didn't notice when Globus photographer took his picture, nor did we notice any type of tightened security in the area. True, during those two hours which our reporter spent in Gornjanska Street, Military Police patrol passed several times in front of the building. But that probably had nothing to do with Kordic.
Dario Kordic's presence in Zagreb demonstrates that Croatian authorities can reach him. Hence, according to the law about the co-operation with the Hague Tribunal for War Crimes, the Croatian authorities should arrest Kordic and send him to the Hague.
The public has been informed that Kordic had been indicted by the International War Crimes Tribunal for "political, racial and religious persecution of Bosnian Muslims in the Lasva river valley in central Bosnia". In the same group with Kordic, the International Tribunal issued indictments against Tihomir Blaskic, Mario Cerkez, Ivica Santic, Pero Skopljak and Zlatko Aleksovski.
So far, only Tihomir Blaskic, General in the Croatian Army and Croatian Defense Council, who had voluntarily extradited himself, has appeared in the Hague. Zlatko Aleksovski was arrested several weeks ago in Split.
Until now, there was no reliable information about the presence of other individuals indicted for war crimes on the Croatian territory. It seems that even the Foreign Affairs MInistry lacked reliable information about that. In June, it sought from other competent Ministries information whether "two individuals [were] currently on the Croatian territory in order to inform the Hague Tribunal about that."
According to the Foreign affairs Ministry spokesperson, Vanja Moric, the role of the Ministry is to implement state policies and the law about the co-operation with the Hague, according to which "the Croatian government is responsible for the co-operation with the Hague Tribunal".
Minister Mate Granic on several occasions spoke about the Croatian obligations with respect to the Hague Tribunal, and at a recent conference in Florence in Italy, which took place in mid June, he said that "those individuals indicted by the Tribunal which happen to be on the Croatian soil will be arrested".
Zlatko Kuretic, the spokesperson of the Ministry for Internal Affairs, couldn't comment Kordic's presence in Zagreb for Globus. He suggested that we contact judicial authorities.
Constitutional law about the co-operation between the Republic of Croatia and the International Criminal Tribunal which was passed on April 19, 1996, states that the District court judge can order the arrest of a person indicted by the International Tribunal, while the arrest is carried out by the police.
Article 13 of the law specifies that "the investigating magistrate decides about the International Tribunal request for urgent arrest".
The arrests should be conducted by the Police even without a warrant if "an international warrant has been issued for the accused".
"Police must immediately bring the accused to the District investigating magistrate who decides whether the accused should be kept in custody or released," states the law which was passed in the Parliament almost unanimously.
The Kordic family has moved to the recently built building on Tresnjevka in Zagreb, after the indictment against Kordic had been issued by the International tribunal. They live on the fourth floor, in the apartment number 23.
Obviously, this is a temporary shelter for Dario Kordic, whose fate will be decided by the highest Croatian officials. Clash between Ministers Granic [Foreign Affairs] and Susak [Defense] is caused by the disagreement regarding the co-operation with the Hague tribunal.
The international status of Croatia and its return to European organizations depend on the co-operation with the International Tribunal; the refusal to cooperate with the Tribunal may result in the introduction of sanctions.
Actually, the International Community will use weak UN sanctions, similar to those with which international representative Carl Bildt recently threatened Serbia because it hadn't arrested Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic, in order to force local states to cooperate with the Tribunal.
Globus' special opinion poll, carried out on July 8 on a sample of 600 persons shows that 60.7 percent of poll participants think that Croatia should fulfil its obligations towards the International Tribunal.
A majority of participants, 54.8 percent, agrees that the indicted Croats should be arrested if they are on the Croatian territory. 49.7 parcent believe that the Tribunal is objective and a slightly smaller portion of participants believes that general Tihomir Blaskic should appear before the Tribunal.
"Dario Kordic and Tihofil Blaskic, in that period, with their actions and failure to act, in co-operation with others, committed crime against humanity by carrying out political, religious and racial persecution of Bosnian Muslims. They are responsible for killing and wounding of Muslim civilians and prisoners; attacks and bombardment of undefended cities and villages; for deliberate attacks on civilians; unlawful destruction of commercial property, houses, personal property, and livestock; for unlawful treatment of prisoners; imprisonment of distinguished politicians; plunder of houses and personal property; expulsion of Muslim population from the Lasva river valley to the territories with majority Muslim population and other crimes against humanity."
According to the Hague Prosecutor, Richard Goldstone, Kordic's responsibility for the crimes comes from his political and military role during the war in Bosnia-Hercegovina. In the aforementioned period he was the vice-president of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna, a member of its Parliament, and HVO commander in central Bosnia with the rank of colonel. He was the commander of one of four HVO operative zones in Bosnia-Hercegovina.
According to the indictment, Dario Kordic has "demonstrated power, influence and control on several occasions and in different ways: by implementing cease fire agreements, issuing orders which were directly or indirectly of military nature, by wearing the HVO uniform and the accepting the rank of colonel in HVO, having an office for military operations in Busovaca, breaking the cease fire agreement when the condition were unfavorable, issuing orders for arrest or release of distinguished Muslims which were imprisoned by HVO and negotiating about the passage of humanitarian convoys and UN vehicles through check points in central Bosnia".
Before the start of the war in Bosnia-Hercegovina, Kordic was an anonymous journalist. He was born in Sarajevo, on December 14, 1960. He graduated from the Sarajevo University with the political science (journalism) degree and worked as a journalist for the factory paper "Vatrostalac" published by the company "Vatrostalna". Except during his studies, he has spent most of his life in Busovaca. He was a contributor of the daily Oslobodenje and of the radio stations in Sarajevo and Zenica. After the multiparty elections in 1990 he became the chief of the Defense office in Busovaca municipality. That was the start of his military carrier. During the war he had the rank of colonel in HVO and he was an assistant of the HVO Chief of Staff. Today he is a reserve brigadier of HVO.
His political carrier also started in Busovaca, where he was the founder of the local HDZ branch. At the second HDZ Bosnia-Hercegovina conference he was elected the vice-president of the HDZ for Bosnia-Hercegovina, and in 1995 he became its president. He resigned that position after the indictment by the International tribunal in the Hague.
His case is interesting for the future treatment of Croatia by the international community and for the assessment of the strength of different political forces in Croatia.