Monday 27 October 2008

Florence Hartmann Appears in The Hague

Several weeks ago, I reported on a contempt citation issued against the former press attaché of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, a result of a book she published last year.
Today, Florence Hartmann appeared before the Tribunal, chared with having 'knowingly and willfully...disclos[ed] information in violation of an order of the Appeals Chamber'. According to the Chamber, these are charges punishable by the 'inherent power of this tribunal' as well as pursuant to Rule 77(a)(ii) of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence. According to the Chamber articles 20 and 21 of the Statute do not distinguish between 'accused and accused', i.e. those accused with crimes against humanity and those charged with contempt. Ms Hartmann elected not to enter a plea today. She said that she and her counsel are waiting for a decision from the Registry as to whether she will be recognised as being indigent, financially speaking, as this will determine if her counsel can continue to represent her. A schedule for a further initial appearance will be issued in due course, probably within the next 15 days . It is estimated at this point that the date for the start of the trial will be early next year.
Thanks to Eadaoin O'Brien who attended the hearing.

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