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ICTY ex-spokesperson found guilty of contempt for revealing Milosevic secrets

[JURIST] A specially appointed chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official website] on Monday found former spokesperson Florence Hartmann [BBC profile; ICTY materials, PDF] guilty of contempt [judgment summary, PDF; press release] for revealing confidential judicial decisions. She was also fined €7,000 to be paid in installments ending in November. Hartmann had been charged [press release, JURIST report] with two counts of contempt for allegedly disclosing protected information of appellate chamber decisions from the trial of former Serbian president Slobodan Milosevic [JURIST news archive] in a book and an article she wrote in 2007 and 2008. The presiding judge said:

This ... impacts upon the Tribunal's ability to exercise its jurisdiction to prosecute and punish serious violations of humanitarian law as prescribed by its mandate. Public confidence in the effectiveness of protective measures, orders and decisions is vital to the success of the work of the Tribunal.

Hartmann's trial began [JURIST report] in June. At an initial appearance, Hartmann did not enter a plea [JURIST report] and a plea of not guilty was entered on her behalf in November.

Hartmann formally served as the official spokesperson for chief ICTY prosecutor Carla del Ponte [BBC profile]. Before being indicted, Hartmann drew media attention by repeating allegations [JURIST report] that former US president Bill Clinton and former French president Jacques Chirac had planned a campaign [JURIST report] to capture Radovan Karadzic [BBC profile; JURIST news archive], but later backed down following a change in policy. Hartmann has also said that Russia aided in moving Karadzic to safety in Belarus, and alleged that the West helped in order to hide information about the Srebrenica massacre [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive].

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