Læsetid: 13 min.

The email that went around the world…

… and prompted the uprecendented ousting of Danish Judge Frederik Harhoff from the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. His personal letter and subsequent dismissal are still a matter of controversy that raise the question of whether international humanitarian law can be properly enforced if generals cannot be convicted for crimes committed, with their knowledge, by their subordinates. For the first time, Harhoff gives his take on what happened in The Hague
7. december 2013

”I dare say I was completely baffled by the leaking of my letter”.

A month ago, Judge Harhoff was deposed from the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague.

He was recused by a panel of three judges that in a vote of 2 to 1 found the Danish judge had expressed bias against Serbs in general and generals in particular in a personal and private email he had sent to 56 family members, friends and colleagues in Denmark last June. Since 2007, Harhoff had served as one of three judges in the trial against Vojislav Šešelj, the leader of the ultranationalist Serb Radical Party.

The email was sent a few hours after midnight on Thursday June 6. Within a few days, it was somehow intercepted by the Danish tabloid daily B.T., which published the letter in its entirety along with an accompanying article. Both were translated into English and spread quickly. Consequently, Mr. Harhoff’s fellow judges were also able to read it in The Hague.


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  • Maria Jensen
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