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Trial of Former Spokesperson Postponed

Hartmann’s request for a delay to proceedings is granted by Hague tribunal judges.
By Simon Jennings
Contempt of court proceedings against French journalist and former spokesperson for the office of the Prosecutor, OTP, Florence Hartmann, have been delayed at her request.

Hartmann, who acted as spokesperson for former chief prosecutor Carla Del Ponte from 1999 to 2006, was due to appear in court on September 15 on charges of disclosing confidential information about judges’ decisions at the trial of former Serbian president Slobodan Milosevic.

However, she filed a request to delay proceedings so she could complete her work for the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe, OSCE. She is currently on a field mission in Belarus where the OSCE is monitoring elections.

Judge Alphons Orie, who is presiding over the case, granted Hartmann’s application and re-scheduled the hearing for October 13.

According to a court order issued by the tribunal on August 27, Hartmann is indicted “for knowingly and willfully disclosing information in knowing violation of an order of a Chamber”.

The allegations relate to Hartmann’s book Paix and Chatiment (Peace and Punishment), published in September 2007, and an article entitled “Vital Genocide Documents Concealed”, which was published on the Bosnian Institute website in January this year.

According to the order, both the book and the article divulge details of confidential decisions made by appeals judges during the Milosevic trial. The decisions relate to the granting of protective measures to parts of official Serbian documents.

Hartmann told IWPR last month that she intends to contest the charges, arguing that she was acting in the public interest.

Simon Jennings is an IWPR reporter in The Hague.

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