Florence Hartmann says she will contest charges at September hearing.  By Simon 
Jennings in The Hague


PRLIC WITNESS DENIES ETHNIC CLEANSING  Croat official tells judges displaced 
Bosniaks were not expelled, but chose to leave for safe areas.  By Goran 
Jungvirth in Zagreb


KARADZIC AGAIN REFUSES TO ENTER PLEA  Suspect says he will awaiti updated 
indictment now being revised by prosecutors.  By Merdijana Sadovic in Sarajevo


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French journalist Florence Hartmann says she will contest charges at September 

By Simon Jennings in The Hague

Florence Hartmann, a former spokeswoman for the Hague tribunal’s chief 
prosecutor, was charged with contempt of court this week for revealing 
confidential information after leaving her post.

Hartmann is charged on two counts relating to the disclosure of decisions made 
by the appeals chamber during the trial of the former Serbian president, 
Slobodan Milosevic, in 2005 and 2006, the court order said. 

However, Hartmann told IWPR she was acting in the public interest.

“For me and my lawyers, it’s a question of free speech and the right to inform, 
with transparency, the public on a subject of public interest,” she said.

“We cannot say international justice is not a subject of public interest; it’s 
a subject even of humanity interest.”

The court order notes that Hartmann published a book, “Paix and Chatiment” 
(“Peace and Punishment”), in September 2007, and wrote an article entitled 
“Vital Genocide Documents Concealed”, which was published on the Bosnian 
Institute website on January 21 this year. 

The order – which was issued in lieu of an indictment on 27 August – states 
that both these texts gave details of confidential decisions made by appeals 
judges on court motions which were themselves filed confidentially.

According to the court order, Hartmann broke the rules because she knew she was 
“revealing confidential information to the public”.

Hartmann, who was Chief Prosecutor Carla Del Ponte's spokeswoman from 1999 to 
2006, insists she has done nothing wrong.

She argues that public discussion of judicial affairs is a driving force behind 
the success of international justice.

“Public opinion is one of the leading forces in support of international 
justice because it is for the protection of any citizen in the world – that’s 
the ideal goal of international justice and of the rules that have been 
established,” she said.

“It’s right that there is a right of public scrutiny in those institutions.”

The journalist has been ordered to appear before the trial chamber on September 

The information she revealed is thought to relate to the court’s handling of 
certain documents, including minutes of meetings of the Serbian Defence 
Council, SDC, during the wars in the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s. 

The minutes from these meetings are widely believed to contain crucial 
information about Belgrade’s involvement in these wars, and both lawyers and 
the media have criticised the decision not to make them public. 

Tribunal judges reportedly granted parts of the documents confidential status 
at Serbia’s request, under tribunal rules of procedure and evidence which allow 
a state to keep its documents secret if their disclosure could “prejudice 
national security interests”.

Lead prosecutor in the Milosevic case Sir Geoffrey Nice said no reason was 
given for this ruling at the time, which denied his team the fundamental 
information they needed to argue against it.

IWPR has covered this issue extensively and also written to the tribunal asking 
permission to employ an amicus curiae to argue the case for unsealing the 
documents. No response has yet been received.

Hartmann told IWPR she was “shocked” by the charges, and also by the manner in 
which she learned of them. 

She found out, she said, when reading a circular news release sent out by the 
tribunal’s press office to the media before she had been officially notified by 
the registry.

“The registry sent me a copy yesterday night [August 27], three hours after the 
press was informed, and my lawyer who was representing me at the point I was a 
suspect had not been informed yet,” Hartmann said.

Tribunal spokeswoman Nerma Jelacic told IWPR that while she could not comment 
on specific cases, “the tribunal does generally endeavour to inform the accused 
of the charges against them”.

Hartmann, meanwhile, made it clear that she intends to fight the charges.

“I will respond to the charges and I don’t see any illegal motivation behind 
this move [to publish the material]. The tribunal… has taken some action 
against free speech and transparency,” she said.

Her lawyer William Bourdon rejected the charges, arguing that Hartmann had not 
revealed any confidential information, but only material that had come to light 
through her interviews as a journalist.

"As a journalist [Hartmann] had access to public information and to various 
sources in various countries through many interviews," Bourdon told IWPR. 

He added that Hartmann “denies absolutely” revealing any confidential 

Hartmann said she was also surprised at the timing of the charges, which come 
almost a full year after her book was published and after it had been 
translated into other languages.

“There were quite a lot of media reports that the book would be translated into 
Bosnian, Serbian and Croatian,” said Hartmann. 

“If they [the tribunal] were concerned with anything they could have taken 
whatever decision they wanted prior to the book being [distributed] in other 

Simon Jennings is an IWPR reporter in The Hague.



Croat official tells judges displaced Bosniaks were not expelled, but chose to 
leave for safe areas.

By Goran Jungvirth in Zagreb

A member of Bosnia’s parliament said this week that Bosniaks were not 
ethnically cleansed from Croat-controlled territory during the war, but left of 
their own accord.

Martin Raguz, currently a member of Bosnia’s state parliament, worked for the 
office for refugees and displaced people of the self-proclaimed Croat statelet 
of Herceg-Bosna during the 1992-95 Bosnian war.

The official dismissed claims that Bosnian Croats expelled Bosniaks from 
territory under the control of the Croatian Defence Council, HVO – the wartime 
entity’s armed forces and government.

He instead blamed military operations for the displacement, and said civilians 
fled the danger voluntarily.

“People went where it was better for them,” said the witness.

Former Herceg-Bosna prime minister Jadranko Prlic and other five senior 
officials are accused of taking part in a joint criminal enterprise aimed at 
expelling Bosniaks from parts of Bosnia and Hercegovina controlled by Bosnian 
Croats during the Croatian-Muslim conflict in 1993 and 1994.

On trial with Prlic are former Herceg-Bosna defence minister Bruno Stojic, HVO 
military police commander Valentin Coric, General Slobodan Praljak, General 
Milivoj Petkovic and the head of the commission for prisoner exchange, Berislav 
Pusic. They are all charged with responsibility for war crimes and crimes 
against humanity, including persecutions, murder, rape, and deportation.

The indictment states that members of Croatia’s political and military 
establishment wanted to unite Herceg-Bosna with Croatia proper.

Prosecution witnesses have testified that the HVO’s policy was to “implement 
its plan in a way that would require the removal of Muslims and other 
non-Croats” from Herceg-Bosna. 

However, the defendants – supported by Raguz’s testimony this week – argue that 
the Bosnian Croats had to organise themselves because of their isolation from 
the government in Sarajevo, which was mostly made up of Bosniaks.

Raguz’s political carrier began in June 1992, when he was elected minister for 
work, social welfare and refugees of Bosnia and Hercegovina. At the end of 
1992, he left Sarajevo and went to the Croatian capital Zagreb to join his 

He stayed there until May 1993, when he accepted a job as deputy of chief of 
the department for refugees and displaced persons in Herceg-Bosna. He was then 
dismissed from the Bosnian government. 

This week, Raguz defended the creation of the HVO.

“We must bear in mind the fact that [the HVO] was a legitimate defensive 
structure created when the socialist system was dissolving and it was 
impossible to protect the whole country,” he said.

The witness dismissed prosecution claims that Bosniaks were ethnically cleansed 
from the predominantly Croat region of Hercegovina. 

He also denied that Croats from central Bosnia were then encouraged by the 
authorities to move to Hercegovina to increase population numbers there, in a 
process that has been termed “reverse ethnic cleansing”.

For instance, while he acknowledged that the HVO moved about 15,000 Croats from 
the Kakanj area of central Bosnia, he said it was in order to help people and 
save lives.

“I said already and I’m repeating it now – absolutely, it wasn’t about [reverse 
ethnic cleansing]. Here in front of this honourable court, I dismiss any 
possibility of characterising help for those people in that way,” Raguz said.

He argued that the HVO’s presence helped civilians.

“This area which the HVO defended was where the most people were saved and 
where the most humanitarian aid in Bosnia was delivered,” said Raguz.

Raguz explained that local officials, not Prlic’s government, took charge of 
refugee accommodation, and therefore the prime minister could not have command 

He explained that some Croat-run municipalities asked Herceg-Bosna officials to 
evacuate them because of the conflict with the Bosnian army. If the request was 
dismissed, the municipalities accused them of making political decisions and 
gambling with the lives of civilians, he said.

The witness dismissed allegations that visas issued to Bosniaks by Herceg-Bosna 
authorities allowing them to leave for third countries were instruments of 
ethnic cleansing. 

A few thousand visas “was a small number considering the million people already 
displaced around the world”, said Raguz. 

During cross-examination, the prosecution presented documents detailing the 
population before and after the conflict to show how many Bosnians had left 
Croat-controlled areas, such as the city of Mostar, during the war. 

“I can only say that was to do with the war in Mostar where both sides were 
involved [Bosnian army and HVO] and where both nations got hurt,” said Raguz.

The trial continues next week. 

Goran Jungvirth is an IWPR-trained journalist in Croatia.



Suspect says he will awaiti updated indictment now being revised by prosecutors.

By Merdijana Sadovic in Sarajevo

Former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic this week refused to respond to 
charges in the current indictment against him, saying he was waiting for a new 
one that is due to be filed.

Karadzic faces charges for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity 
relating to Bosnia’s 1992-95 war.

He was arrested in Belgrade at the end of July and transferred to the Hague 
tribunal shortly after that. 

Hague prosecutors are currently reviewing the current indictment against 

When Judge Ian Bonomy – who has replaced Judge Alphonse Orie as a pre-trial 
judge in this case – called on the suspect to enter a plea to the operative 
indictment, the accused said he had “no interest in listening to that 
indictment, not only because I'm expecting a new one to be filed, but also 
because I have not yet put together my team of associates and helpers”.

At a hearing held a month ago, Karadzic made similar comments and said he would 
not enter a plea on the current indictment because he knew it was going to be 

Prosecutors then promised to amend the indictment “as soon as possible”.

However, at a further hearing on August 29, they said they needed one more 

“Can you explain to me what the difficulty is that you're having in dealing 
with the issues in such a prominent case, in which the indictment was first 
filed over eight years ago?” Judge Bonomy asked the prosecution. 

Prosecutor Alan Tieger pointed out that he and his colleagues had to review “a 
vast volume of material”.

While they could have proceeded to “simply address any glaring or obvious issue 
related to the indictment”, he said, it seemed to them “far more prudent, 
particularly at this time – the early stage of the proceedings – to undertake 
the most comprehensive possible review to avert the need for any further issues 
later down the road”.

Judge Bonomy expressed his “surprise” that the indictment had not been tackled 
until Karadzic was apprehended.

“I find it surprising that bearing in mind the period since the original 
indictment, the aim that everyone was aware of – of concluding the business of 
this tribunal fairly expeditiously and the significance in the life and to the 
life of this tribunal of this particular case – that you tell me now that it's 
only once the accused is in custody that this exercise is being undertaken,” he 

As the tribunal’s rules require that a plea has to be entered within 30 days of 
the initial appearance of the accused, Judge Bonomy entered a not guilty plea 
to all charges in the indictment on Karadzic’s behalf.

The next hearing is scheduled for September 17.

Merdijana Sadovic is IWPR’s Hague programme manager.

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