Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

Mashujaa day: Kenyatta and Odinga call for peace before election rerun

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Kurdish referendum a ‘colossal mistake’, says son of late president Talabani

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

The new 30s club: NZ's Jacinda Ardern joins list of maverick leaders

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Raqqa, Kirkuk, Xi Jinping

Read more

REPORTERS

The Dictator's Games: A rare look inside Turkmenistan

Read more

#TECH 24

Teaching maths with holograms

Read more

DOWN TO EARTH

Is China exporting its pollution?

Read more

#THE 51%

Are female empowerment adverts actually good for the cause?

Read more

FOCUS

The mixed legacy of 'Abenomics' in Japan

Read more

Europe

Former court spokesperson released days after arrest for contempt

© Olaf Kraak, POOL, AFP | Florence Hartmann appears before the International Criminal Court in The Hague, on October 27, 2008

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2016-03-29

A former prosecution spokeswoman for the U.N. court trying alleged criminals from the 1990s Balkan wars has been released early from the jail where she had been serving a one-week sentence for contempt of court, the tribunal said on Tuesday.

Florence Hartmann, who reported for French newspaper Le Monde on the wars that accompanied the collapse of multi-ethnic Yugoslavia, was arrested by U.N. officials as she sought to attend the sentencing of former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic last Thursday.

In a ruling, the presiding judge of the Yugoslavia tribunal’s legal successor said her good behaviour meant Hartmann was eligible for release after serving two thirds of her seven-day sentence -- on Tuesday rather than Thursday.

"Hartmann’s completion of more than two-thirds of her sentence and her exemplary conduct in the UNDU are factors that favour her early release," wrote Theodor Meron, the court’s American chief justice.

She was convicted in 2009 of revealing confidential trial information in a book on the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia and was fined 7,000 euros. In 2011, judges converted that into a seven-day jail term for non-payment.

Hartmann claims her book revealed attempts by the court to cover up Serbia’s responsibility for the 1995 Srebrenica massacre of 8,000 Muslim men and boys - Europe’s worst massacre since World War Two.

France and the Netherlands have both ignored requests by the court to extradite her since her sentencing, and she has lived freely in France for the past five years, visiting the Netherlands on at least one occasion.

Her arrest, which took place outside the court’s headquarters in The Hague in front of dozens of journalists and Bosnian victims gathered for Karadzic’s sentencing, drew condemnation from some press freedom campaigners.

"The penalty imposed on her for her action as a whistle-blower is wholly disproportionate," Jerome Fenoglio, director of Le Monde, wrote on Monday, calling for her swift release.

Karadzic, whose Bosnian Serbs battled in the 1990s to forge an ethnically pure Serbian state out of multi-ethnic Bosnia, was sentenced last week to 40 years in prison for crimes including genocide.

The highest-ranked leader to have been convicted for his role in the Balkan wars, in which 130,000 lost their lives, Karadzic is appealing against his conviction.

(REUTERS)

Date created : 2016-03-29

  • THE INTERVIEW

    Florence Hartmann, French journalist and author

    Read more

  • FRANCE - NETHERLANDS

    Balkan activists support jailed French journalist Hartmann

    Read more

  • FRANCE - NETHERLANDS

    French journalist Florence Hartmann under 'suicide watch' after Hague arrest

    Read more

COMMENT(S)