France won't arrest war crimes court spokeswoman

AP News
Posted: Dec 26, 2011 8:02 AM
France won't arrest war crimes court spokeswoman

France's government says it will not arrest the former spokeswoman for the Yugoslav war crimes tribunal, convicted for revealing confidential decisions during the trial of Slobodan Milosevic.

Florence Hartmann, a French national, was convicted of contempt of court in July and fined in the case, which involved disclosures she made in a 2007 book.

The U.N. court's appeals panel last month converted the fine into a seven-day prison term, and asked French authorites to find and arrest Hartmann.

French Foreign Ministry spokesman Bernard Valero said Monday that it would be impossible to fulfill the court's request.

He said judicial agreements between France and the court apply only to "the serious crimes that the tribunal is charged with prosecuting" _ and not with such offenses as contempt of court.