Hague ex-official due to be released

Florence Hartmann is detained by Dutch police and UN security personnel in The Hague. 24 March 2016Image copyright

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Florence Hartmann was detained outside the tribunal last Thursday

A former official at the UN war crimes tribunal at The Hague is due to be released after spending several days in a UN detention unit for contempt of court.

A lawyer for French journalist Florence Hartmann said she was “very happy”.

Hartmann, 53, was arrested over a 2009 conviction for contempt for disclosing confidential documents.

She was initially sentenced to a fine, but this changed to seven days’ jail when the court ruled she had not paid.

She insisted the money was deposited in a French account.

A statement from the tribunal said she was being released early from the detention unit at The Hague because of her “exemplary conduct… and her completion of more than two thirds of her sentence”.

‘Gathering her things’

Hartmann was detained on Thursday in The Hague, where she had gone for the verdict against former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic.

Her lawyer, Guenael Mettraux, told AFP news agency on Tuesday that she “will be released today. I just spoke with her and she is gathering her things together”. He said she was “very happy”.

On Monday, Mr Mettraux had said she was being kept in isolation with the lights permanently on.

The tribunal’s statement on Tuesday acknowledged a complaint about the conditions of her detention but said it was “unfounded”.

Hartmann worked for the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia from 2000 to 2006.

She wrote a book, Peace And Punishment, and an article in which she disclosed the existence of confidential documents on the Serbian government involvement in the Bosnian war of the 1990s.

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