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Croatian Journalists Questioned

Journalists suspected of breaking Hague tribunal’s rules by publishing classified information.
The questioning of eight Croatian journalists suspected of publishing secret documents connected to an upcoming trial at the Hague tribunal took place in Zagreb this week.

According to Croatian media reports, the journalists were questioned for allegedly publishing the contents of a classified annex to the indictment against three former Croatian generals, Ante Gotovina, Ivan Cermak, and Mladen Markac.

The journalists may be charged with contempt of court.

The three generals are accused of ordering the killing of at least 150 Serbs during Croatia’s Operation Storm – a military offensive which regained control of a third of Croatian territory from Serb rebels in 1995.

The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia reportedly ordered a Croatian court to interview the journalists on the suspicion that they published the annex to the indictment against Cermak, Gotovina and Markac – which is thought to contain the names of seven high-ranking officials named as participants in an alleged “joint criminal enterprise”.

Among those questioned were former Deputy Editor of Factual Programming at Croatian Television, HTV, Goran Rotim, HTV Editor Durica Drobac and Davor Ivankovic from the Vecernji list daily.

ICTY investigators have refused to accept Goran Mikulicic as Rotim’s attorney, saying there is a potential conflict of interest, as he is also acting for the defence in the trial of the three generals.

Jasna Babic and Sinisa Pavic, journalists from Slobodna Dalmacija daily, failed to make statements because the investigators decided their attorney Jadranka Slokovic also had a potential conflict of interest.

Slokovic was working on Cermak’s case at the time when the journalists are alleged to have published the classified annex.

The two journalists will find another lawyer and then give a statement.

Goran Jungwirth is an IWPR journalist in Zagreb.

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