Initial appearance of the journalist from Zagreb, charged with contempt of court for the second time
Domagoj Margetic, a journalist from Zagreb, pleaded not guilty today to the only count of the indictment charging him with contempt of court for publishing a list of all the protected witnesses at the trial of Tihomir Blaskic.
Pre-trial judge Alphons Orie first verified whether Margetic had received the indictment, understood it and consulted with his counsel. Since the accused pleaded not guilty, the Trial Chamber set in motion the procedure to set the trial date, suggesting to the Registry to schedule it for mid-November.
As Judge Orie stated, the prosecution has filed a motion requesting that the defense do not disclose to any party not involved in the case the contents of the evidence that would be submitted to the accused as part of disclosure. Although Margetic did not oppose the prosecution motion, Judge Orie reminded him once again that if he needed to disclose the materials to any third party, he would first need to apply for approval to the Trial Chamber.
Margetic, represented today by Dijana Tomasegovic- Tomic, notified the Chamber he would be represented by Zagreb attorney Veljko Miljevic at trial and that the procedure for the appointment of his counsel was underway.
The Zagreb journalist told the judge he would “be able to attend trial despite bad health”, adding he had trouble moving after a 33-day hunger strike. He also had heart trouble. The Chamber took notice of that, Judge Orie said, explaining that the ICTY was not directly responsible for the health of the accused because Margetic was not in the UN Detention Unit.
The was the second time Domagoj Margetic had his initial appearance before an ICTY judge. Last June, he pleaded not guilty to contempt of court charges. He was indicted because he had published the identity and testimony of protected witness Stjepan Mesic in the Hrvatsko slovo magazine. Chief prosecutor Carla del Ponte dropped the charges in June in the interest of “judicial economy”. Margetic, however, soon violated the court order, revealing the identity of the protected witnesses, which resulted in a new indictment.