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If I had received information from a reliable source about secret witness testimony at the ICTY for one of my columns in The Washington Times, I certainly would have published it. Yet the tribunal would never dare to indict me for supposed “contempt of the tribunal” because it knows the firestorm of opposition it would create in the American media. It would be seen for what it is: a crude attempt to silence a journalist.
Carla Del Ponte is essentially claiming that the institutional prerogatives of the ICTY are more important than the rights of all Croatians to free expression and freedom of the press. These indictments are an assault on the fundamental pillars of a liberal democracy. Once the sacred principles of freedom of the press and freedom of speech are violated, then all the other basic rights and freedoms central to a democracy simply wither away. In short, Del Ponte is now expressing her outright contempt for Croatia’s democratic institutions.
This response failed to satisfy Reporters Without Borders, however. "We have always supported the establishment of an international justice, but even the best causes do not justify the violation of the fundamental principle of protection of journalists' sources," stated Robert Ménard on the eve of Mr Randal's appeal.