U.N. upholds contempt-of-court conviction

July 19, 2011 at 5:52 PM

NEW YORK, July 19 (UPI) -- The U.N. Balkan war crimes tribunal Tuesday dismissed a former staff member's appeal of her contempt-of-court conviction.

Florence Hartmann was convicted of contempt in September 2009 for violating a court order by disclosing confidential information. She served as a prosecution spokeswoman at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.

In her writings, including a book and an article, Hartmann was found to have "disclosed the contents, purported effect and confidential nature of two decisions by the ICTY appeals chamber in the case involving the former Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic," the United Nations said in a release.

In her conviction, the court said Hartmann's actions "could deter countries from cooperating with the ICTY regarding the provision of evidence," the release said.

In its ruling Tuesday, the tribunal's appeals chamber said no third party can decide what confidential information can be disclosed. It also upheld a 7,000-pound fine against Hartmann.

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