UN war crimes tribunal fines ex-spokeswoman for contempt of court

By Aaron Gray-Block, Reuters, in the Hague

The United Nations' Yugoslav war crimes tribunal yesterday found its former prosecution spokeswoman guilty of disclosing confidential information about the trial of Slobodan Milosevic, the former Serb president, in a book that she wrote.

Florence Hartmann, a former journalist who had covered the war in the Balkans, was charged with contempt after publishing information in a 2007 book in violation of a tribunal order.

"The chamber is satisfied the prosecution proved beyond reasonable doubt that the accused knowingly and wilfully interfered with the administration of justice," said Bakone Moloto, a judge for the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. "The chamber has found the accused's conduct may deter sovereign states from co-operating with the tribunal."

Hartmann, a Frenchwoman who worked as a spokeswoman for the ICTY's prosecutor between 2000 and 2006, was found guilty on two charges of contempt and fined €7,000 (£6,170). The maximum penalty was seven years in prison and/or a €100,000 fine.

Judge Moloto said the court had taken into account some of the information published by Hartmann had already been made public before her book was released, but said her disclosures could have seriously interfered with court proceedings.

The court did not give any further details of the case, which related to confidential appeals chamber decisions in the case of Milosevic, who died in 2006 during his war crimes trial.

In her writings, Hartmann said information about the alleged role of Serbian state institutions in the 1995 Srebrenica genocide was not made public during Milosevic's trial because judges had granted Serbian requests for the material to remain confidential.

She claims the purpose of the judges' decision was to shield Serbia from responsibility at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) because a genocide conviction would have had "enormous political and economical consequences for Serbia".

In a case lodged by Bosnia, the ICJ ruled in February 2007 that the massacre of 8,000 Muslim men and boys by Bosnian-Serb forces at Srebrenica constituted genocide, but Serbia could not be held responsible for the mass killing, or complicity in the act.

A judgment in Bosnia's favour could have allowed it to seek compensation from Serbia.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
Life and Style
food + drink
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Finance Director

£65000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Finance Director required to jo...

Recruitment Genius: Medico-Legal Assistant

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity fo...

Ashdown Group: (PHP / Python) - Global Media firm

£50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...

The Jenrick Group: Quality Inspector

£27000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: A Quality Technician...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas