The Congress of North American Bosniaks (CNAB) is deeply saddened by the decision of the Hague Tribunal to convict journalist Florence Hartmann, the former spokesperson for the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY), for disclosing to the public the existence of secret documents that show direct involvement of Serbia and Montenegro in launching a war campaign and genocide against the citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The evidence would have made a critical difference in the final outcome of the case against Serbia and Montenegro that ended in 2007.
In the final ruling, Serbia was not found guilty of genocide because of lack of evidence that they were directly involved.
It is wrong that the Tribunal is choosing to prosecute those who are on the side of truth and justice, rather than prosecuting the war criminals responsible for acts of genocide and holding Serbia and Montenegro accountable for their actions. Although Ms. Hartmann has written the book detailing the existence of the secret evidence and the secret deal struck between the ICTY and the Serbian government, she was not the first one to bring this information to the public domain. In fact, this information was made public knowledge as early as 2005 but the court chooses to personalize the matter and single out Ms. Hartmann.
CNAB is also dismayed as to why the Court did not examine all the facts around the case, by examining the legality of the deal with Serbia in light of the fact that it was crucial evidence in the genocide case. While Ms. Hartmann may have broken the law by writing her book “Peace and Punishment” and her text “Hidden key documents about genocide”, CNAB believes that the law was unjustly applied because the deal should not have been made in the first place.
We therefore request that ICTY immediately examine the legality of the deal given that all the evidence is now part of the public domain. We also demand that the conviction against Ms. Hartmann be suspended until such an investigation has taken place. Finally, we reiterate the need for immediate opening up of all secret documents related to Serbia and Montenegro’s involvement in the Bosnian war because the genocide victims and the citizens of the civilized world deserve to know the truth!