ICTY Registry has approved new defense counsel for French journalist Florence Hartmann. Hartmann, who faces contempt of court charges because she published confidential decisions of the Appeals Chamber, will be defended by British barrister Karim Khan instead of French attorney William Bourdon at the trial slated for 5 and 6 February 2009

Karim Khan, new defence counsel of Florence HartmannKarim Khan, new defence counsel of Florence Hartmann

At Florence Hartmann’s request, the ICTY deputy registrar today rescinded the power of attorney Hartmann had initially given to French lawyer William Bourdon and appointed British barrister Karim Khan as her new defense counsel.

French journalist and former OTP spokesperson has been charged with contempt of court. Her trial is slated for 5 and 6 February 2009. According to the indictment issued in August 2008 by the judges themselves, Florence Hartmann made public the fact that there are confidential decisions of the Appeals Chamber confirming the protective measures for documents originating from Milosevic’s Supreme Defense Council and rejecting the prosecution’s request that the documents be made public. She did so in her book, Peace and Punishment and in an article, ‘Hidden Vital Documents About Genocide’, published after she left the Tribunal.

Hartmann’s new defense counsel Karim Khan used to work in the OTP but then changed sides and started defending the accused before the ICTY. He was on the defense team of former KLA commander Fatmir Limaj, who was acquitted of the crimes in the Lapusnik camp. He is currently on the defense team of Bruno Stojic, former Herceg Bosna defense minister. Khan is also defending the former minister of culture, youth and sports in the Kosovo government, Astrit Haraqija, who has been recently convicted and sentenced to five months in prison for attempting to intimidate witnesses at the Haradinaj et al. trial.

Unofficial sources reveal that Khan will be assisted in the defense of Florence Hartmann by Swiss lawyer Guenael Mettraux who has successfully defended the first BH Army commander Sefer Halilovic and former Macedonian police minister Ljube Boskoski. Mettraux represented the two accused together with Edina Residovic, lawyer from Sarajevo.