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

Judgement Pending on Croatia Contempt

(TU No 442, 3-Mar-06)
Former Croatian secret service chief Markica Rebic is accused of providing journalist Ivica Marijacic with statements by Dutch army officer Johannes van Kuijk who served as a United Nations peacekeeper in Bosnia. Marijacic went on to publish the testimony.

The evidence related to an unsuccessful attempt by Bosnian Croat war criminal Miroslav Bralo to give himself up to UN troops in 1997. Bralo has since been tried at The Hague and sentenced to 20 year’s imprisonment.

Marijacic and Rebic’s trial lasted just two days in January this year, with prosecutors calling two witnesses to testify, both employees of the prosecutor’s office. The defence chose not to call any witnesses.

During the trial, Judge Iain Bonomy questioned the point of the proceedings, since revealing van Kuijk’s identity seven years after he originally testified was unlikely to put him in any danger.

Four more Croatian journalists – Domagoj Margetic, Marijan Krizic, Josip Jovic and Stjepan Seselj – are also awaiting trial on contempt charges for revealing the testimony of another protected witness in the Blaskic case, the current Croatian president Stjepan Mesic.

Contempt of the tribunal is punishable by up to seven years in prison and a fine of 100,000 euro.

As coronavirus sweeps the globe, IWPR’s network of local reporters, activists and analysts are examining the economic, social and political impact of this era-defining pandemic.