Tribunal orders former spokeswoman arrested

AP News
Posted: Nov 16, 2011 12:50 PM
Tribunal orders former spokeswoman arrested

The Yugoslav war crimes tribunal asked France on Wednesday to arrest the U.N. court's former spokeswoman for not paying a fine imposed for revealing confidential decisions during the trial of former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic.

Florence Hartmann was convicted of contempt of court in 2009, and appeals judges upheld the guilty verdict and euro7,000 ($9,500) fine in July.

Hartmann, a French national, has repeatedly told the court that money for the fine has been deposited in a French account, but the court says she has not transferred the funds.

In Wednesday's order, the court's appeals panel converted her fine to a seven-day prison term and asked French authorities to find and arrest her so she can be transferred to The Hague.

Hartmann did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

She was originally fined for disclosures she made in her 2007 book "Peace and Punishment," which she published after leaving her job, and again in a later magazine article.

She revealed that the court had decided in secret not to disclose Serbian military documents that could have linked the government in Belgrade to atrocities such as the Srebrenica massacre committed by Bosnian Serb forces.

Serbia had given the papers to the court for Milosevic's case on the condition they be kept secret.

Hartmann's lawyers have argued that the information was already common knowledge by the time she published it.