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Judge Orie Orders Croatian Weekly to Immediately Cease Publication of Statements of Protected ICTY Witnesses

Press Release . Communiqué de presse

(Exclusively for the use of the media. Not an official document)


The Hague, 2 December 2004



On 2 December 2004, Judge Alphons Orie ordered HKZ-Hrvatsko Slovo d.o.o., a Croatian weekly, and all its employees, "to cease publication in Hrvatsko Slovo and in any other publications, and to desist from further publication of statements or testimonies" of a protected witness who appeared in the Blaskic trial, as well as any other protected witness.

Judge Orie further requested "the relevant authorities of the Republic of Croatia to serve this order without delay on HKZ-Hrvatsko Slovo d.o.o., Stjepan Seselj and Domagoj Margetic and to provide a written report confirming such service or describing the efforts made to do so".

Judge Orie further called upon "the authorities of the Republic of Croatia to provide the Tribunal with any information regarding the identity of those potentially responsible for the illegal disclosure of the Transcripts and violations of the related orders and decisions of the Tribunal regarding the protection of witnesses".


On 26 November 2004, Hrvatsko Slovo published excerpts of what it claimed was the testimony of a protected witness in the Blaskic case.

On 1 December 2004, the Prosecution at the ICTY filed an ex parte and confidential "Urgent Motion for an Order for the Immediate Cessation of Violations of Protective Measures".

Judge Orie considered that the witness testified in closed session and had been granted protective measures and that, "those responsible for the publication of Hrvatsko Slovo were aware, at the time of the publication, that the Transcripts were not to be disclosed", and that "the publication by any means of any statements, transcripts, or copies thereof, which are
protected pursuant to an order of the Tribunal should cease immediately and that no mention, direct or indirect, of such documents should be made public under any form

Finally, Judge Orie considered that those found responsible for breaching an order of the Tribunal can be found in contempt of the Tribunal and subject to punishment of up to seven years’ imprisonment and a fine of 100,000 Euros.


The full text of the Order will be available in due course on the Tribunal’s website www.un.org/icty in due course.

Hard copies can also be obtained from the Press Office.