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Croatia journalist pleads not guilty to contempt for publishing ICTY witness names

[JURIST] Freelance Croatian journalist Domagoj Margetic, charged [indictment, PDF; JURIST report] with publishing the names of two protected witnesses online, pleaded not guilty to contempt of court Friday at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official website; JURIST news archive]. Margetic is accused of publishing the names of witnesses who testified in the trial of Tihomir Blaskic [ICTY case backgrounder], a former Croatian militia commander in Bosnia who was convicted [judgment text] in 2000 of crimes against humanity, war crimes and other charges. Margetic allegedly obtained the names from prosecutors as a defendant in a previous contempt case [indictment] that was withdrawn [decision, PDF] in June. During his court appearance [ICTY press release], Margetic told Judge Alphons Orie that he was in poor health after a month-long hunger strike [SE Times report] to protest his detention.

A trial date has not been set. If convicted, Margetic could be imprisoned for up to seven years and fined up to 100,000 euros (US $125,400). In August, another Croatian journalist, Josip Jovic [JURIST news archive], was found guilty of contempt [judgment summary; JURIST report] and fined 20,000 euros (US $25,080) for publishing transcripts of a closed court session during Blaskic's trial. AP has more.

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