According to the prosecution, the judges, not Carla del Ponte's office, are to blame for the fact that the indictment against Josip Jovic was issued with a considerable delay – five and a half years after the violation of the court order

Carla del Ponte, chief prosecutor in the TribunalCarla del Ponte, chief prosecutor in the Tribunal

Judge Bonomy not only labeled the decision by Carla del Ponte to withdraw the indictment against three Croatian journalists charged with contempt of court “an empty gesture”; last month he demanded an explanation from the prosecution as to why the indictment against Josip Jovic, former editor-in-chief of the Slobodna Dalmacija daily was issued five and a half years after he violated the court order by publishing the transcript of Stjepan Mesic’s testimony in closed session at the Tihomir Blaskic trial.

Judge Bonomy got the explanation he was looking for, but now the ball is in the judges court. The prosecution claims that in late 2000 it warned four times the Chamber, with Judge Claude Jorda presiding, of the violation of the court order for protective measures approved for witness Mesic. The Chamber responded to the warning on 26 January 2001, by ordering the Registry to launch an enquiry. More than four years later, when it became obvious the Registry’s enquiry was going nowhere, the Trial Chamber ordered the prosecution to conduct the enquiry. The indictment was issued in August 2005 – five and a half years after the violation, but less than three months after the judges entrusted the enquiry to the Office of the Prosecutor.