Warcrimes court confirms spokeswoman's conviction

19th July 2011, Comments 0 comments

Appeals judges on Tuesday upheld a 7,000-euro ($10,000) fine slapped on a former spokeswoman of the UN's Yugoslav warcrimes court for disclosing confidential details of a key trial.

The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) found Florence Hartmann guilty of contempt in September 2009 for having "knowingly and wilfully interfered with the administration of justice".

Hartmann was prosecuted for writing about two confidential appeals chamber decisions in a 2007 book she authored on the ICTY and in a later published article.

The information, which emerged during the trial of late Serbian strongman Slobodan Milosevic, allegedly implicates the Serbian state in the 1995 massacre of some 8,000 Muslim men and boys in the Bosnian city of Srebrenica.

Hartmann, a French national, covered the Balkan wars of the 1990s as a journalist for French newspaper Le Monde and went on to become spokeswoman for former ICTY chief prosecutor Carla Del Ponte from 2000 to 2006.

She had appealed the court's ruling, claiming the judges had made "over 100 errors".

But the appeals chamber dismissed her challenge in its entirety and confirmed the fine.

"It is not for a party to decide which aspects of a confidential decision may be disclosed," the judgement said.

© 2011 AFP

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