CHOKING INFORMATION FROM WAR CRIMES TRIBUNAL? EXPANDING THE BOUNDS?
Florence Hartmann will appear this September 15 at the International War Crimes Tribunal, (ICTY), no longer as the Tribunal's spokesperson but as a defendant charged for contempt. Ms. Hartmann could face up to 7 years in prison and/or monetary penalties for disclosing purportedly confidential information related to the trial of Slobodan Milosevic. This unprecedented action has implications beyond the ICTY as well as raising questions regarding the intent of this "indictment," the broader consequences for international legal practice and access to information and evidence:
- Balancing "constitutional principles": confidentiality versus transparency, right of the public to know and freedom of speech.
- Is there intent or possible effect of "muffling" information flow? (Sir Geoffrey Nice, the prosecutor on the Milosevic case, speaks.)
- What interests is ICTY empowered to defend, (and does this include "national security interests" and of what countries?) Who is injured party in Hartmann's alleged offense?
- Who will determine and by what methodology the release of such information for public study?
- Will ICTY investigate allegations, perhaps posecute complicity with genocide and war crimes, more in line with its original mandate.
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