Sunday, September 20, 2009

Former ICTY Official Florence Hartman Found Guilty of Contempt



Former ICTY Official Found Guilty of Contempt

By Katherine Iliopoulos

Sunday, Sep 20, 2009

http://axisoflogic.com/artman/publish/Article_56981.shtml

French journalist and investigative researcher, Florence Hartmann.
Florence Hartmann, a former spokesperson for the Office of the Prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, was found guilty of contempt of court by the Tribunal on September 14 and fined 7,000 Euros for disclosing confidential court decisions.

The French journalist was found to have knowingly disclosed the contents and effect of two confidential Appeals Chamber decisions rendered in the Slobodan Milosevic case, which ended prematurely when the accused died in detention in March 2006.

In her 2007 book, Paix et Châtiment (Peace and Punishment) and a subsequent article published by the Bosnian Institute in January 2008, Vital Genocide Documents Concealed, Hartmann revealed that the Appeals Chamber had agreed to grant protective measures over transcripts of meetings of the Serbian Supreme Defence Council (SDC) - which were admitted as evidence during the Milosevic trial - based on the 'national interests' of Serbia, which was being sued at the International Court of Justice by Bosnia over the 1995 Srebrenica genocide. Serbia had only agreed to supply these documents to the Prosecution and the Court on condition that they be the subject of protective measures.

The ICJ ultimately cleared Serbia of responsibility for genocide, but it did rule that it was liable for failing to prevent the genocide, thereby violating its obligations under the Genocide Convention of 1948. Hartmann wrote that many people believed that if the SDC evidence had been made available to the ICJ, it would not have cleared Serbia of responsibility for the genocide.

Presiding Judge Bakone Moloto said Hartmann had "knowingly and wilfully interfered with the administration of justice" by revealing the contents of the orders of the Appeals Chamber.

The Prosecutor submitted that the content of the decisions were still confidential at the time that Hartmann wrote about them, and the Court agreed. The Court acknowledged the Defence argument that some of what was contained in those decisions were already in the public domain. On this basis, the Defence had argued that Hartmann could reasonably have formed the view that the decisions were no longer confidential and that her revelation of 'publicly known facts' would not have posed a real risk to the administration of justice. Against this, the Prosecution argued that what information may be said to have been in the public domain was a discussion of the contents of the protected SDC documents, but not of the Appeals Chamber's reasoning and logic with respect to granting them their confidential status.

The Defence then tried to show that the disclosure of the reasoning and logic of the Appeals Chamber orders did not form part of the charges in the indictment against Hartmann and that therefore she could not be prosecuted for disclosure in that sense. The Court disagreed, pointing out that the indictment clearly stated that Hartmann was accused of disclosing the contents, purported effect and confidential nature of the two court orders - which does not exclude the legal reasoning of the Appeals Chamber - charges of which she was found guilty.

In effect, the Court found that Hartmann had revealed publicly for the first time that: "Several ICTY rulings show clearly that the ‘blacking out’ [of the SDC documents] was granted in order not to damage Serbia’s position in Bosnia’s case before the ICJ. They reveal that the ICTY judges admitted that public disclosure of the most sensitive part of the SDC minutes could have had a negative effect on the outcome of the proceedings before the ICJ. They also took into account that a genocide conviction would have had enormous political and economical consequences for Serbia".

Thus the ICTY judges in the Milosevic case agreed that Serbia’s ‘vital national interest’ in not compromising its position in the ICJ case could constitute a ‘national security interest’ relevant to the granting of protective measures at the request of a state. This logic is arguably unsound in law, and indeed Hartmann also revealed that the Office of the Prosecutor, headed at the time by Carla del Ponte, "considered that granting protective measures for the sole purpose of shielding Serbia from responsibility before another international court could be considered neither reasonable nor in accordance with the law and the ICTY rules".

Regarding the mental element of the offence of contempt, Hartmann's defence submitted that she did not have the specific intent to interfere with the administration of justice. However, the Prosecution had argued in its final trial brief that Hartmann wrote that both Appeals Chamber orders were marked 'confidential', and that with over twenty years of journalism experience, and her six years as OTP spokesperson during which time she operated within the Tribunal's confidentiality framework, meant that she must have known she was violating those court orders by disclosing their contents. The Court agreed with the Prosecution argument, on the basis of the most recent Tribunal jurisprudence, that "any defiance of an order of a Chamber per se interferes with the administration of justice for the purposes of a conviction for contempt".

In sentencing Hartmann to pay a fine of 7,000 Euros, the Court took into account that the risk of interference with the administration of justice "is real, and it is serious" because her conduct may deter sovereign states from co-operating with the Tribunal where the provision of evidentiary material is concerned. It must be noted however that this reasoning does not seem to fit well with Security Resolution 827 (1993), which imposes a legally binding obligation on all States, including the Governments of the Former Yugoslavia, to cooperate fully with the Tribunal.

In mitigation, the Court considered the fact that some information was already in the public domain, that Hartmann's book had not been a commercial success, her co-operation with the Tribunal and her lack of prior convictions.

In an interview with France 24, Hartmann's Co-Defence Counsel Guénaël Mettraux said, “It’s very likely that we will appeal, but we have not made a final decision yet. We have 15 days to decide according to court procedure.”

The case might also be brought before the European Court of Human Rights. In the defence brief, it was argued that the prosecution of the charges violates Hartmann's fundamental rights as a journalist - mainly the freedom of expression - under Article 10 of the European Convention of Human Rights. But in its judgment, the Court pointed out that under Article 10(2) of the Convention, the exercise of freedom of expression may be subject to such “formalities, conditions, restrictions or penalties as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society … for preventing the disclosure of information received in confidence, or maintaining the authority and impartiality of the judiciary”. These interferences with the freedom of expression are applicable “even with respect to press coverage of matters of serious public concern”.

As a Balkans correspondent for Le Monde in the early 1990s, Hartmann had written about the discovery of a mass grave containing the remains of more than 200 people in Ovcara, Croatia. She gave evidence in 2006 before the ICTY in a case against three Yugoslav army officers accused of involvement in the mass killing. She also wrote a Case Study on Bosnia for the book, Crimes of War Project: What the Public Should Know.

3 comments:

  1. Irrefutable Proof ICTY Is Corrupt Court/Irrefutable Proof the Hague Court Cannot Legitimately Prosecute Karadzic Case

    Unfortunately for the The Signatures Of the Rome Statute United Nations member states instituting the ICC housed at the Hague, in Karadzic and other Hague case, there is no other international court capable; even if there was, the same United Nations member states that spoke about trading judicial appointments and verdicts for funding when I attended the 2001 ICC Preparatory Meetings at the UN in Manhattan would be morally incapable of constructing another court to hear cases.

    My suggestion is to transfer immediately Dr Karadzic and others awaiting trial at the Hague back to Serbia and their respective countries to decide how to proceed next.

    ================================
    Irrefutable Proof the Hague Court Cannot Legitimately Prosecute Karadzic Case

    And how is it, Richard Holbrook (Lying Moralist), the present Obama administration of my own country, the United States, and/or any other UN member state can stand anyone being tried at the Hague (ICC) court at all, which I testify to, is an institution at its very conception stages was based upon trading bribery for judicial appointments and verdicts (?)

    I witnessed with my own eyes and ears when attending the 2001 Preparatory Meetings to establish an newly emergent

    International Criminal Court, the exact caliber of criminal corruption running so very deeply at the Hague, that it was a perfectly viable topic of legitimate conversation in those meetings I attended to debate trading verdicts AND judicial
    appointments, for monetary funding.

    Jilly wrote:*The rep from Spain became distraught and when her country’s proposal was not taken to well by the chair of the meeting , then Spain argued in a particularly loud and noticably strongly vocal manner, “Spain (my country) strongly
    believes if we contribute most financial support to the Hague’s highest court, that ought to give us and other countries feeding it financially MORE direct power over its decisions.”


    ((((((((((((((((((((((((( ((((((((((((((((((((((((( Instead of censoring the country representative from Spain for even bringing up this unjust, illegal and unfair judicial idea of bribery for international judicial verdicts and judicial appointments, all country representatives present in the meeting that day all treated the Spain proposition as a ”totally legitimate topic” discussed and debated it between each other for some time. I was quite shocked! The idea was "let's discuss it." "It's a great topic
    to discuss."

    Some countries agreed with Spain’s propositions while others did not. The point here is, bribery for judicial verdicts and judicial appointments was treated as a totally legitimate topic instead of an illegitimate topic which it is in the meeting that I
    attended in 2001 that day to establish the ground work for a newly emergent international criminal
    court.))))))))))))))))))))))))))))

    In particular., since "Spain" was so overtly unafraid in bringing up this topic of trading financial funding the ICC for influence over its future judicial appointments and verdicts in front of every other UN member state present that day at the UN, "Spain" must have already known by previous experience the topic of bribery was "socially acceptable" for conversation that day. They must have previously spoke about bribing the ICTY and ICC before in meetings; this is my
    take an international sociological honor student.
    Could anyone imagine the US Supreme Court having such a discussion about trading money for judicial verdicts and judicial appointments among the judges appointed and those funding it as an institution, and then say claim it was capable
    of giving anyone or anything a "fair trial" as the ICTY and ICC claim?

    The idea is utterly ridiculous and disgusting morally!

    SPAIN HAS TAUGHT THE WORLD THE TRUE DEFINITION OF AN "INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT."

    LOLLOLOLL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Irrefutable Proof ICTY Is Corrupt Court/Irrefutable Proof the Hague Court Cannot Legitimately Prosecute Karadzic Case
    picasaweb.google.com/lpcyusa/
    (The Documentary Secret United Nations ICC Meeting Papers Scanned Images)

    This legal technicality indicates the Hague must dismiss charges against Dr Karadzic and others awaiting trials in the Hague jail; like it or not.

    Unfortunately for the Signatures Of the Rome Statute United Nations member states instituting the ICC & ICTY housed at the Hague, insofar as the, Radovan Karadzic, as with the other Hague cases awaiting trial there, I personally witnessed these United Nations member states openly speaking about trading judicial appointments and verdicts for financial funding when I attended the 2001 ICC Preparatory Meetings at the UN in Manhattan making the iCTY and ICC morally incapable trying Radovan Karazdic and others.

    I witnessed with my own eyes and ears when attending the 2001 Preparatory Meetings to establish an newly emergent International Criminal Court, the exact caliber of criminal corruption running so very deeply at the Hague, that it was a perfectly viable topic of legitimate conversation in those meetings I attended to debate trading verdicts AND judicial appointments, for monetary funding.

    Jilly wrote:*The rep from Spain became distraught and when her country’s proposal was not taken to well by the chair of the meeting , then Spain argued in a particularly loud and noticably strongly vocal manner, “Spain (my country) strongly believes if we contribute most financial support to the Hague’s highest court, that ought to give us and other countries feeding it financially MORE direct power over its decisions.”

    ((((((((((((((((((((((((( ((((((((((((((((((((((((( Instead of censoring the country representative from Spain for even bringing up this unjust, illegal and unfair judicial idea of bribery for international judicial verdicts and judicial appointments, all country representatives present in the meeting that day all treated the Spain proposition as a ”totally legitimate topic” discussed and debated it between each other for some time. I was quite shocked!
    The idea was "let's discuss it." "It's a great topic to discuss."

    Some countries agreed with Spain’s propositions while others did not. The point here is, bribery for judicial verdicts and judicial appointments was treated as a totally legitimate topic instead of an illegitimate toic which it is in the meeting that I attended in 2001 that day to establish the ground work for a newly emergent international criminal court.))))))))))))))))))))))))))))

    In particular., since "Spain" was so overtly unafraid in bringing up this topic of trading financial funding the ICC for influence over its future judicial appointments and verdicts in front of every other UN member state present that day at the UN, "Spain" must have already known by previous experience the topic of bribery was "socially acceptable" for conversation that day. They must have previously spoke about bribing the ICTY and
    ICC before in meetings; this is my take an international sociological honor student. SPAIN's diplomatic gesture of international justice insofar as, Serbia, in all of this is, disgusting morally!

    SPAIN HAS TAUGHT THE WORLD THE TRUE DEFINITION OF AN
    "INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT."
    I represented the state interests' of the Former Yugoslavia, in Darko Trifunovic’s absence in those meetings and I am proud to undertake this effort on Serbia’s behalf.

    ReplyDelete
  3. What It’s Like to Chill Out With Whom the World Considers the Most Ruthless Men in the World Ratko Mladic, Radovan Karadzic and Goran Hadzic (+) Confessions of a Female War Crimes Investigator


    Retrospectively, it was all so simple, natural and matter of fact being on a boat restaurant in Belgrade, sitting with, laughing, drinking a two hundred bottle of wine and chatting about war and peace while Ratko Mladic held my hand. Mladic, a man considered the world’s most ruthless war criminal since Adolf Hitler, still at large and currently having a five million dollar bounty on his head for genocide by the international community. Yet there I was with my two best friends at the time, a former Serbian diplomat, his wife, and Ratko Mladic just chilling. There was no security, nothing you’d ordinarily expect in such circumstances. Referring to himself merely as, Sharko; this is the story of it all came about.

    http://sites.google.com/site/jillstarrsite/what-it-s-like-to-chill-out-with-whom-the-rest-of-the-world-considers-as-the-most-ruthless-men-in-the-world-ratko-mladic-and-radovan-karadzic-confessions-of-a-female-war-crimes-investigator
    (Read My Entire Book Here For Free Now).


    http://picasaweb.google.com/lpcyusa
    (Jill Starr's Entire American Expose Including the Secret Scanned Photo Documentary Evidence I Obtained From the CLOSED UN ICC Preparatory Meetings (2001)

    http://lpcyu.instablogs.com/feed
    (Jill Starr On Instablogs)

    http://shops.half.ebay.com/raretofindreads
    (Now Everyone Can Purchase My Rare Books)

    ReplyDelete