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Canadian Authorities Questioned CroCop About War Crimes

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emfleek

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Posted by McBee

Is that a joke? elaborate, do you have a NRA sticker on your car or something?



It's not a joke at all. My friends and I used to go to Windsor, Ontario to party quite a bit back before I turned 21. In order to enter, you have to go through Customs. They decide if you enter without issue or if you should be searched, questioned or have a background check ran on you.

The one time I didn't go with my friends, they were strip searched after the Customs agent found a shell casing (my buddy was in a target shooting league) in the trunk of the car.

EDIT: And by 8 times total, I mean 4 times there and 4 times back in to the states.

Last edited 6/15/10 1:27PM server time by emfleek
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Post #46   6/15/10 1:26:51PM   

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From Cro Cop's point of view, getting detained does suck. I was detained for 6 hours in O'Hare because my name came up on some list when I returned from Istanbul a couple of years after 9/11 and it was not a pleasant experience. There were people there who looked like they had been there for days. I had to sit there not knowing WTF for about 3 hours and then got put in an interrogation room where they just asked me if I'd ever committed a crime over and over again. Finally, they must have gotten whatever it was they had wrong fixed and said I was free to leave. No explanation or anything.


It would be great to live in a world where international travel doesn't run the risk of detainment, but that isn't very realistic.

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Post #47   6/15/10 1:34:13PM   

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I was crossing once by plane from Vegas (pre 9-11) and forgot my passport and ID in my bag.

They were going to detain me as well but I actually got a laugh out of a Customs Agent and told go ahead by saying something along the lines of.

" I owe Revenue Canada about 20,000, ask them if they want me back."

Something tells me post 9-11 that would have ended up a little different

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Post #48   6/15/10 1:36:02PM   

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Posted by ncordless

I'll try and answer #2. No, detaining and questioning someone about war crimes is not illegal. Law enforcement can stop and question people about crimes. If you were thought to know a suspected murderer or thief, the police could legally stop you and question you about him, right? Same applies here.



Not being familiar with the actual written laws nor the events as they actually happen I'd still have to say based on the way it was recounted this sounds like an isolated incident of harassment that, while within the confines of the law, definitely brushes up against the fence and is borderline openly hostile.

I didn't want to bring it up but since some people are being very close minded about all of this I should clarify that I find it questionable due to my own experiences as a veteran. If anybody ever asked me to give the names and contact information for my former commanders for the purpose of detaining them or finding out information on them I would perceive that as an open threat. I would clam up in an instant and demand a lawyer. So, again.. speaking on my personal experience as someone who has fought in a war I have to say I'm slightly offended by Canada doing this. It's not like Mirko was some Croatian general or something. My understanding is that he was a commonplace soldier during the time in question. I would understand if he was some high ranking official. But I don't get the feeling he was at all.

My questions all center around the fact that CC has fought in the U.S., Germany, the UK, Australia, Japan and has traveled to the Netherlands and I'm sure many other countries. And yet this has never come up. Why in Canada? Why is this the first time we've heard of this? The UK, Germany, Netherlands, U.S. and Canada are all members of NATO. He fought in all of those other NATO countries and never faced this kind of harassment before. If he's on a NATO watch list (NATO was the peacekeeping force sent into the region) you'd figure they're all drawing and sharing their intelligence from NATO sources.

Again- I don't like to draw conclusions without knowing the facts first. BUT this is highly interesting for the reasons listed above. For the most part individual soldiers in war that aren't of any note are assumed to be operating under the command of their leaders. Therefore, in most cases, soldiers aren't held nearly as accountable for actions as their leaders are.

Post #49   6/15/10 1:36:51PM   

noahgenda

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i understand where you are coming from, but what would be the point? what does canada gain by "harassing" mirko?

Post #50   6/15/10 1:50:08PM   

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Posted by cowcatcher

my guess is that there is a person of serbian descent that works in whatever office held him up, and im not kidding at all.



this is what im thinking it has to be, it just doesnt make sense otherwise.

or maybe some serbian organization contacted someone or something strange like that. he said a lawyer was waiting for him when he arrived at the airport, so they saw it coming while he was en route at the latest.

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Post #51   6/15/10 1:55:21PM   

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Posted by noahgenda

i understand where you are coming from, but what would be the point? what does canada gain by "harassing" mirko?




That's exactly it. That's the other side of the coin. Like I said- 2 + 2 doesn't equal 7. So why all the fuss one way or the other? I'm sure they knew he wasn't a threat to their national security. They also had to know he wouldn't sell out his former comrades. So why go digging up bones from nearly 20 years back just for the sake of wasting time? Especially since you could argue he was a reason for a huge economic GAIN for Canada. Turning him around and not letting him enter the country could have caused some decent sized damage to the monetary gain from the event.

The whole incident seems strange. All I was saying from the start is I have a couple of very basic, concrete questions I'd like to build a foundation from. Where exactly are the lines and how close did the Canadian officials come to brushing against them or possibly even crossing over them? <--That's the gist of my line of questioning and I think anyone who wants to speak intelligently on a topic like this one should start there.

Post #52   6/15/10 1:56:32PM   

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I agree. This is very strange. They couldn't have hoped to gain any meaningful information from him and I'm not sure what the Canadians would have hoped to gain from this. Maybe some anti-MMA administrator was looking for a way to harass a main event fighter. They certainly didn't welcome the UFC with open arms.

I'm glad to hear CC refrained from giving them information on his comrades and that he wasn't held up to long.

In a way though that actually makes the actions more suspicious. If he were truly a suspected war criminal or was an suspected contact of one, this wouldn't have been such a simple procedure.

So you detain the guy informally and for a very short period of time. You ask him questions and when he refuses to answer you just say "alrighty den, its aboot time we be goin' den. Talk to you later."

Something doesn't add up.

Post #53   6/15/10 2:00:07PM   

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You know... I just got to thinking. Maybe it's as simple as someone in the Customs office for Canada had money on Barry Here we are arguing about laws of international travel, NATO countries, Serbian war criminals, etc... and it all boils down to money.



Ockham's Razor at its finest.

Post #54   6/15/10 2:00:53PM   

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it wasnt war it was genocide..both the serbs AND croats attacked bosnians from both sides croats were promised some of the land so they went for it...obviosly not as bad as the serbs and the croats did stop..y hes being questioned is because there were war crimes against civilians by croats in eastern bosnia were it is borderd with croatia.. he was just in the military around that time.. that being said doesnt mean he did anything obviously he would have been arrested by now since he is in the public...but i guess i know more about this then most of u, just wanted to point it out but id rather talk about mma

Post #55   6/15/10 2:14:50PM   

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Posted by Jackelope


Posted by ncordless

I'll try and answer #2. No, detaining and questioning someone about war crimes is not illegal. Law enforcement can stop and question people about crimes. If you were thought to know a suspected murderer or thief, the police could legally stop you and question you about him, right? Same applies here.



Not being familiar with the actual written laws nor the events as they actually happen I'd still have to say based on the way it was recounted this sounds like an isolated incident of harassment that, while within the confines of the law, definitely brushes up against the fence and is borderline openly hostile.

I didn't want to bring it up but since some people are being very close minded about all of this I should clarify that I find it questionable due to my own experiences as a veteran. If anybody ever asked me to give the names and contact information for my former commanders for the purpose of detaining them or finding out information on them I would perceive that as an open threat. I would clam up in an instant and demand a lawyer. So, again.. speaking on my personal experience as someone who has fought in a war I have to say I'm slightly offended by Canada doing this. It's not like Mirko was some Croatian general or something. My understanding is that he was a commonplace soldier during the time in question. I would understand if he was some high ranking official. But I don't get the feeling he was at all.

My questions all center around the fact that CC has fought in the U.S., Germany, the UK, Australia, Japan and has traveled to the Netherlands and I'm sure many other countries. And yet this has never come up. Why in Canada? Why is this the first time we've heard of this? The UK, Germany, Netherlands, U.S. and Canada are all members of NATO. He fought in all of those other NATO countries and never faced this kind of harassment before. If he's on a NATO watch list (NATO was the peacekeeping force sent into the region) you'd figure they're all drawing and sharing their intelligence from NATO sources.

Again- I don't like to draw conclusions without knowing the facts first. BUT this is highly interesting for the reasons listed above. For the most part individual soldiers in war that aren't of any note are assumed to be operating under the command of their leaders. Therefore, in most cases, soldiers aren't held nearly as accountable for actions as their leaders are.



I don't know all the facts either, but to me it didn't sound like they were after Cro Cop, but rather people he might have known. You are right that often the common soldier is considered exempt. However a common soldier can be questioned about his superiors and can even be forced to testify under oath. Cro Cop, for his part, had every right to say that he wouldn't answer questions and to either let him go or deport him. Having not served myself, I still understand why a soldier would not answer questions of a foreign country about his country's army.

Again, not knowing the facts, NATO countries' justice departments are not intertwined is such a way that all knowledge is communal. One of the ways that universal jurisdiction works in international law is that a prosecution for a "crime against humanity" can occur within a single country's court system, even if that country was not "directly" effected by the crime. Prosecution of crimes against humanity can occur through the International Criminal Court (how they got Slobodan), within the criminal justice system of a single country, or by any tribunal created through international agreement (Nuremberg). Thus, within Canada's investigation of the Bosnian Conflict, it is more than possible that they do not have all the intelligence gained by either NATO or even their own intelligence agencies.

As far as why Cro Cop? I agree that that is what is kind of a head scratcher. As fleek illustrated, Canada is kinda tough on visitors. But it could be anything from an anti-mma conspiracy, to him having served under a suspect, to even a dickhead in the bureaucracy who either hates Croats or loves Igor Vovchanchyn. Who knows?

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Post #56   6/15/10 2:23:48PM   

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Posted by ncordless

I don't know all the facts either, but to me it didn't sound like they were after Cro Cop, but rather people he might have known. You are right that often the common soldier is considered exempt. However a common soldier can be questioned about his superiors and can even be forced to testify under oath. Cro Cop, for his part, had every right to say that he wouldn't answer questions and to either let him go or deport him. Having not served myself, I still understand why a soldier would not answer questions of a foreign country about his country's army.

Again, not knowing the facts, NATO countries' justice departments are not intertwined is such a way that all knowledge is communal. One of the ways that universal jurisdiction works in international law is that a prosecution for a "crime against humanity" can occur within a single country's court system, even if that country was not "directly" effected by the crime. Prosecution of crimes against humanity can occur through the International Criminal Court (how they got Slobodan), within the criminal justice system of a single country, or by any tribunal created through international agreement (Nuremberg). Thus, within Canada's investigation of the Bosnian Conflict, it is more than possible that they do not have all the intelligence gained by either NATO or even their own intelligence agencies.



So they're allowed to prosecute should an enemy combatant fall into their hands? I.E. coming through their borders on business completely unrelated to a 20 year old conflict? Even if there is no international wanted list that has that person or his affiliated parties on it?

I've worked with NATO forces before and we've always shared information with each other. At least as high as the Brigade level. Above that I couldn't say for sure, but Brigade is pretty significant. You're talking top secret for sure at that level. Hell, you're talking Top Secret at company level. I don't know how it works as far as judicial proceedings go but I know without a doubt strategic planning and enemy intel is shared with NATO forces. (My experience was in Poland with Polish NATO forces on training missions and in Karbala, Iraq with Polish forces. Although I don't believe during the Iraq war they were officially acting as members of NATO)

I guess I'm just confused with all of this international law crap. To me what happened, while it could be brushed off as "no big deal" to some people, can also be construed as harassment / open hostility to others. My issue isn't with him being detained and questioned. It is solely with him being asked for information about his comrades. To me you're crossing a line there and treading on dangerous ground. It sounds like they're basically accusing him of being an accomplice to war crimes that were committed. From a civilian's perspective that's perfectly logical. From a military member's perspective it isn't at all. That's like blaming me or somehow associating me with the Haditha incident when I was nowhere near there nor in any position at all to influence what happened even though I was in Iraq at that time.

(BTW I only use the Haditha incident as a point of reference. Do not post your opinions on that incident one way or another)

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Post #57   6/15/10 2:48:48PM   

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yeah, but you know you werent at haditha, you dont know where mirko was. canada knows more about what happened and why than we do. and they certainly didnt break any laws by detaining and questioning a foreign visitor. i dont see any problem with them asking him questions about his "comrades" if they know he had some sort of affiliation at some point with a person or persons who are considered war criminals (would you be upset if they held and questioned someone with known ties to osama bin laden?). unfortunately i dont think we will ever find out if that was the case. mirko had a right to withhold answers to their questions, and he did so. i think some of you are blowing this up to be a much bigger deal than it actually is. at best it was a misguided attempt to clear up questions regarding war crimes in the balkans, at worst it was an annoyance for cro cop. i dont see it as that big of a deal

Post #58   6/15/10 3:02:18PM   

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Sure, different nations share military intelligence. They also share other intelligence in other things, including sometimes criminal investigations. But NATO doesn't run the Canadian Justice Department (or the US Dept. of Justice for that matter) and doesn't necessarily share everything they know with them either.

While it may feel like an accusation, there is a difference between questioning and accusing. Say you work with someone wanted for rape. The police might ask you questions about that person. They are not accusing you of doing it, they simply want to know what you know about the person that they think did.

And to ease your mind Jackelope, the U.S. doesn't fully subscribe to all the aspects of universal jurisdiction and claims an exemption for its soldiers. Even if you did have a real association to something that some might consider a crime against humanity, as long as you don't travel somewhere openly hostile to our country, you should be fine.

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Post #59   6/15/10 3:16:30PM   

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Posted by ncordless

And to ease your mind Jackelope, the U.S. doesn't fully subscribe to all the aspects of universal jurisdiction and claims an exemption for its soldiers. Even if you did have a real association to something that some might consider a crime against humanity, as long as you don't travel somewhere openly hostile to our country, you should be fine.



I guess I was just operating under the assumption that things like this were agreed upon in the Geneva conventions. It would be one thing if the conflict were ongoing but it's a whole 'nother thing when the conflict is near on 20 years old. I honestly don't know how I would feel about the U.S. detaining and questioning a former lowly Soviet soldier from the cold war era. The Al Qaeda thing is a different deal since Al Qaeda is on an international terror list and are still very much a portion of the present picture.

Like I said- I'm too ignorant on certain aspects of this situation to take a clear cut stance on it. I honestly think all of us probably are but some may have more of a clue than others. It's interesting talking about it from all of these different perspectives, though. I think ultimately what disturbs me isn't a portion of my own fears based on my military service so much as it is an understanding of the difficulties faced with international travels and how it can easily feel like you're being bullied by host nations when all you're trying to do is check the place out for a week or so.

CC's a big boy and he can handle his own business for sure, but harassment is a very real thing in any country including my own and could have potentially played a factor here.

Post #60   6/15/10 3:38:41PM   
 
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