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Rebic Appeals Contempt Conviction

TU No 449, 21-Apr-06
By IWPR
On March 10, Rebic and his co-defendant, Croatian journalist Ivica Marijacic, were found to have violated protective measures governing testimony given by a former Dutch United Nations peacekeeper, Johannes van Kuijk, in the trial of the Croat commander Tihomir Blaskic.



They were each ordered to pay a fine of 15,000 euro, though this has since been suspended pending the result of the appeals process.



Van Kuijk's identity has now been formally made public.



In their appeal, Rebic's defence team argue that the judgement against their client rested on articles published by Marijacic's newspaper, Hrvatski List, and the Croatian news agency HINA. This, they say, is particularly unwise given the "lack of tradition of journalists' ethics" in Croatia.



They also deny that any information that may have been made public was in fact subject to any protective measures.



They go on to insist that the alleged act of contempt could not have interfered in any way with the court's administration of justice, especially since the protective measures in question were obsolete anyway and were only still in place because no one had got around to having them cancelled.

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