UN orders France to arrest former spokesperson

NEW YORK (BNO NEWS) — The United Nations (UN) on Wednesday ordered the government of France to arrest a former tribunal spokesperson for alleged crimes linked to the Balkan conflicts of the 1990s.

The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), which was set up specifically in the wake of the Balkan conflicts of the 1990s, “directed and authorized” France to search for, arrest and detain Florence Hartmann for failing to pay a €7,000 ($9,422) fine imposed for contempt of court and surrender her to the tribunal, which is based in The Hague in the Netherlands.

In 2009, Hartmann – who is a French national – was convicted of contempt of court for publishing a book and writing an article which disclosed the contents, purported effect and confidential nature of two court decisions involving the former Serbian leader Slobodan Miloševic.

After losing her appeal in July of this year, Hartmann had been ordered to pay her fine in two installments of €3,500 ($4,711) each by mid-August and mid-September respectively.

Furthermore, Hartmann subsequently wrote to the tribunal saying she is indigent and unable to pay her fine, but that supporters of her have deposited the funds to pay the fine in a French bank account. However, the tribunal’s finance department said it had yet to receive either installment and the court stated that she was obligated to pay the fine in the exact manner prescribed.

As a result, a five-judge appeals panel from the appeals chamber decided to convert the fine into a term of imprisonment of seven days

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