Kosovo journalist found guilty of contempt 24 Jul 2008
The ICTY has convicted Kosovo journalist Baton Haxhiu of contempt of the tribunal for publishing details of a protected witness during the trial of Ramush Haradinaj.

Baton Haxhiu On 24 July 2008, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) convicted Kosovo journalist Baton Haxhiu of contempt of the tribunal and fined him € 7,000.

Haxhiu revealed information about a witness who testified under protective measures during the trial of Haradinaj et al. The Tribunal ruled that Haxhiu revealed this information despite knowledge that he would be in violation of a court order.

In accordance with Rule 77 of its Rules of Procedure and Evidence, the Tribunal can conduct proceedings for contempt of court as part of its power to safeguard its administration of justice.

Witnesses dissuaded from testifying

In the Judgement of 24 July, Judge Alfons Orie declared: “The Accused’s conduct could have jeopardized the security of the Witness and his family and was of a kind to undermine confidence in the effectiveness of the Tribunal’s protective measures orders, and to have the effect of dissuading witnesses from cooperating with the Tribunal.”

This comment echoes the judgment rendered in the Haradinaj case itself, where the Trial Chamber noted “the significant difficulties encountered by the Chamber in securing testimony of a large number of witnesses” during the trial.

On 1 May 2008, the Prosecution filed its Notice of Appeal in which it called on the Appeals Chamber to order a re-trial in the Haradinaj case due to what it described as the “prevailing circumstances of witness intimidation and fear”.

Haxhiu is one of the three individuals charged with contempt committed during the trial of Haradinaj et al. The two others – Astrit Haraqija and Barush Morina – are awaiting trial.

Press release
Baton Haxhiu

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Research files /
Documents de recherche

Ramush Haradinaj

Idriz Balaj

Lahi Brahimaj

Related news items / Dépêches antérieures

Kosovo journalist arrested

Mise en accusation d'un journaliste kosovar

Court documents / Docucments juridiques

Pros. v. B. Haxhiu (Contempt), Order and the Indictment, 20-5-2008