Il n’est pas à exclure qu’une entreprise de déstabilisation ait été ourdie par un tiers ou une entité disposant de moyens importants pour aboutir à cet effet. Seule une enquête sérieuse pourra permettre l’identification de !’auteur de la transmission des réflexions personnelles du Juge Harhoff au journal danois et de connaître les motivations réelles de cette transmission.
The Report goes into more detail:
En l’état des hypothèses à envisager, soit il s’agit d’un des destinataires de la correspondance, soit d’une autre personne ou entité qui aurait pénétré l’ordinateur ou le réseau de communications du Juge Harhoff pour transmettre à ce journal ledit document. Le résultat a été évident : il y a eu la volonté manifeste de déstabiliser à titre principal notre Tribunal et de porter atteinte à la réputation du Juge Meron et à titre secondaire d’attenter à l’honneur du Juge Harhoff sur le terrain de l’impartialité et à titre accessoire, de porter atteinte le cas échéant à l’ Accusé Vojislav Seselj lui-même pour le cas où il y aurait in fine un changement de Juge
In a nutshell, for those who don’t read French, according to Judge Antonetti, the person who leaked the letter was trying to destablize the tribunal, affect the reputation of Judges Meron and Harhoff and cause prejudice to Seselj. I find the reasoning quite extraordinary. For one, as I said before, the content of the letter is what is relevant, not how it was made public.
Second of all, I’m happy to be able to be of help to Judge Antonetti on this blog: I know the culprit. I know who tried to destabilize the tribunal and smear Judge Meron’s reputation through publicizing these comments. It was Judge Harhoff. He did not write this letter to his wife and close childhood friend. He wrote this letter to over 50 people. I might be a sociopath, but I cannot think of 5 people I would trust with such comments, let alone 50. Trying to move the spotlight away from Judge Harhoff’s own responsibility in this matter will just not work.
The decision even suggests that contempt proceedings could be initiated against the person who leaked the letter! Which is thoroughly ridiculous in my opinion. Already, the contempt procedure at the tribunal is subject to criticism on a number of levels, if it were to be used on such an issue, then it would be simply a mockery. If any legal action should be taken in relation to the letter, it could be by Judge Meron for defamation…
The other quite extraordinary claim in the documents is that this whole disqualification process would be affecting Seselj’s rights, despite the fact that he filed the motion in the first place! Apparently, this argument also appeared his the Prosecution motion for reconsideration, as pointed out by Kevin Jon Heller on twitter yesterday:
The only basis for making this claim is that for Judge Antonetti, as for Judge Agius in the order on the follow up to the disqualification that I discussed in my previous post, the option of pronouncing a mistrial and freeing Seselj is just not on the table. This is for me the real threat to Seselj’s rights, not the disqualification of Judge Harhoff.
Ultimately, what Judge Antonetti is saying is that he trusts Judge Harhoff and doesn’t think that he is lacking in impartiality. In order to make that feeling known, Judge Antonetti refers to his impressions during deliberations, while saying that these are of course confidential. Which essentially means that this feeling is unsubstantiated for the outside world and has to be put in balance with the content of the letter, which is available to the outside world. The Panel decided that the letter was evidence of appearance of bias, irrespective of Judge Antonetti’s feelings, and that is the end of the matter.
What these documents show is that Judge Harhoff still has a lot of support at the tribunal, who are trying to save Private Harhoff. However, I think this only works in Spielberg movies and I would be very surprised, and thoroughly dissapointed, should the disqualification decision be reversed. The bottom line is that, whatever the means chosen, and I would arguably agree with those who say that the disqualification route was not necessarily the most convincing, the end result of removing Judge Harhoff from any activities at the tribunal is the correct one. The rest is just commentary.