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International war crimes court jails journalist for contempt
International war crimes court jails journalist for contempt

[JURIST] The UN Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals [official website] on Thursday arrested [press release] a French journalist on an outstanding warrant from November 2011 for contempt. French journalist Florence Hartmann [BBC profile; ICTY materials, PDF], in her book Paix et châtiment, revealed that the tribunal was withholding information on Serbia’s involvement with the 1995 Srebrenica massacre. She was originally fined €7,000, but the sentence was later converted to seven days in prison. The journalist’s lawyer, Guénaël Mettraux, stated that the earliest that Hartmann will be released is Tuesday due to the Easter holiday.

The Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official website] issued the arrest warrant [order, PDF] in November 2011 for nonpayment of the €7,000 fine imposed for a contempt of court conviction. In 2009 a specially appointed chamber convicted Hartmann of two counts of contempt [JURIST report] 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 original trial began in June 2009, Hartmann having been formally charged [JURIST reports] the previous August. At an initial appearance, Hartmann did not enter a plea [JURIST report], and a plea of not guilty was entered on her behalf. 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].