|(Exclusively for the use of the media. Not an official document)
The Hague, 10 March 2006
The Trial Chamber of the ICTY today found both Ivica Marijacic and Markica Rebic guilty of contempt of the Tribunal. The accused are fined 15,000 Euros each to be paid within 30 days to the Registrar of the Tribunal.
In its decision, the Trial Chamber states that Ivica Marijacic and Markica Rebic deliberately disclosed information regarding the testimony of Johannes van Kuijk, a Dutch army officer who testified as a protected witness in the case against former Croatian Army general Tihomir Blaškic. The Judgement further reads that "it is not for a journalist, or any third party, to act in
violation of a closed session order".
During the relevant period, Ivica Marijacic was a journalist and editor-in-chief of the Zagreb-based weekly publication Hrvatski List. Markica Rebic is the former head of the Security Information Service ("SIS") of the Republic of Croatia.
Although no harm was done to the protected witness as a result of the disclosure of his identity and content of his testimony, the Trial Chamber found that the deliberate and calculated manner in which Ivica Marijacic and Markica Rebic disregarded the closed session order is a serious matter which tends to diminish the authority of the Trial Chamber in the Blaškic
trial. The Judges added that "public confidence in the effectiveness of the Tribunal's protective measures is vital to the success of its work".
The trial against Ivica Marijacic and Markica Rebic began on 17 January 2006 and concluded on 19 January 2006.
The Tribunal has held contempt proceedings against 18 people, including accused, defence counsel, witnesses, journalists and others for charges including intimidating witnesses, refusing to answer questions in court, leaking confidential court documents, and breaching protective measures.
The full text of the Judgement can be found on the ICTY website at: http://www.un.org/icty/blaskic/rebic_contempt/index.htm
Courtroom proceedings can be followed on the Tribunal's website.