Exclusively for the use of the media. Not an official document)
Trial Chamber I today issued an Order lifting confidentiality of an indictment against Baton Haxhiu, a journalist in Kosovo, who is charged with the contempt of the Tribunal committed during the trial of Ramush Haradinaj and others.
Haxhiu was arrested today and will be transferred to the Tribunal’s Detention Unit.
According to the indictment Haxhiu, who was an editor of a newspaper in 2007, obtained information about a witness whose identity was protected. It is alleged that in contravention of Trial Chamber orders, Haxhiu revealed the identity of the witness in an article he wrote and published.
His initial appearance to enter a plea at the Tribunal has been scheduled for 14:15, Wednesday 21 May 2008 in Courtroom I.
Haxhiu is the third Kosovo Albanian to be charged with contempt of court in as many weeks. On 25 April 2008 Astrit Haraqija and Bajrush Morina were indicted for their alleged attempt to persuade a protected witness, witness PW, not to testify against Ramush Haradinaj. Having pleaded not guilty to all charges, Haraqija and Morina were granted provisional release until the start of trial, scheduled for 16 June 2008.
On 3 April 2008 Trial Chamber I acquitted Ramush Haradinaj and Idriz Balaj of all charges which alleged they were responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Kosovo between March and September 1998. The third accused, Lahi Brahimaj was sentenced to six years’ imprisonment for cruel treatment and torture of two persons at the Jablanica/Jabllanicë headquarters of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA).
At the time of rendering the judgement, the Trial Chamber noted “the significant difficulties encountered by the Chamber in securing testimony of a large number of witnesses” during the trial.
Earlier this month the Prosecution filed its Notice of Appeal in which it called on Appeals Chamber to order a re-trial of Haradinaj and others due to what it described as the “prevailing circumstances of witness intimidation and fear”.
International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
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