Institute for War and Peace Reporting | Giving Voice, Driving Change

Journalist Charged With Contempt Of Court

(TU No 468, 15-Sep-06)
Domagoj Margetic, a freelancer from Croatia, is accused of revealing the names of witnesses who testified under protective measures in the trial of the Bosnian Croat general Tihomir Blaskic.

In a September 11 statement, the tribunal said “he did so by publishing lists on his personal website between July 7 and August 2, despite receiving explicit advance warning that the material was confidential and subject to court orders which prohibited publication”.

It added that Margetic “undermines confidence in the tribunal's ability to grant effective protective measures” and that in committing these acts, he "interfered with witnesses who have given, or are about to give, evidence".

This is not the first time Margetic has appeared before the Tribunal. He was previously indicted for publishing Croatian president Stjepan Mesic’s secret testimony in the Blaskic case in the Croatian weekly, Novo Hrvatsko Slovo, of which he was editor.

Chief prosecutor Carla Del Ponte withdrew the indictment, along with that of two others charged with revealing Mesic’s identity, in June this year, “in the interest of justice and judicial economy”.

The tribunal last month fined the former editor Josip Jovic 20,000 euro for revealing Mesic’s identity and publishing his testimony from the Blaskic trial.

In 2000, Blaskic was sentenced to 45 years in prison for crimes committed by forces under his command in Bosnia in 1993. His sentence was dramatically cut to nine years on appeal, but prosecutors have since attempted to reopen the case in light of new witness testimony.

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