Judge Harhoff Digs Himself Deeper
The two-part series I mentioned in my previous post seems designed to rehabilitate Judge Harhoff’s image in the international-law community. Unfortunately, the articles, which draw heavily on an interview with the judge himself, simply underscore why it was necessary for the ICTY to remove him from the Seselj case. To begin with, consider what the judge says in the second article about how his infamous email, sent to 56 of his closest friends, was leaked to the press. One might speculate that one of those 56 friends might have leaked it. But not Judge Harhoff. He suspects the shadowy hand of foreign intelligence services (emphasis added):
For Mr. Harhoff, however, the rub was elsewhere. He asks: Who would have had an interest in leaking the email – and why leak it to a tabloid newspaper like B.T.?
”None of 56 recipients reads a newspaper like B.T. If one of them wanted to leak my email they would most likely have preferred more reputable newspapers such as Politiken or Information,” Mr. Harhoff inferred, “and at least they would have consulted me first.”
All 56 recipients have since given him personal guarantees they didn’t leak it. Mr. Harhoff also asked each of them whether they had forwarded his message to someone else, but not everyone responded to this question. So he believes that in all likelihood the mail was passed on to a third party unknown to him.
Who could it be?
”I am sure that all judges are having their email correspondence monitored,” Mr. Harhoff said (a suspicion shared by several other judges, as far as Information has been able to ascertain).
”It might make sense to assume that if a foreign intelligence service were able to read my email this would be a smart way to silence me by making it public”, he said.
Yes, foreign intelligence services — presumably those of Israel and the US, whom Judge Harhoff believes put pressure on President Meron to adopt the specific-direction requirement — are so worried about one judge at a tribunal with limited jurisdiction that they read his email and conspire to silence him. Makes perfect sense.
Judge Harhoff also has interesting things to say about his President Meron accusation:
During the interview, Mr. Harhoff seemed to be of two minds. On the one hand, he conceded that his contention of Mr. Meron’s possible motives was ”pure speculation”. On the other hand, he left open the possibility that a likely explanation for Mr. Meron’s radical departure from a “more or less set practice” could be that he had somehow been influenced by outside military interests.
”In military establishments, some people might have been uncomfortable having to accept the evolving liberal jurisprudence at ICTY, since this could set a precedent for the International Criminal Court, ICC. And in the future that could make it very hard to be a general,” Mr. Harhoff said.
In the interview Mr. Harhoff mused: ”Why was it so important for Meron to ensure the acquittal of two Croatian officers who were accused of indiscriminate shelling of towns and civilian centers?”
He wondered: ”It has been pointed out by many others that the United States strongly supported the Croats with arms and intelligence. Gotovina was only able to defeat the Serbs militarily because of the American support. Would that in any way implicate the US Army? Probably not. But we don’t know what the accused might have revealed, if he had been convicted.”
So Judge Harhoff admits that it is “pure speculation” that President Meron manipulated his fellow judges into acquitting Perisic, Stanisic, and Simatovic.(And apparently Gotovina.) But he still believes — and, worse, says to a journalist after the email scandal — that President Meron is an American and Israeli puppet.
And we’re supposed to believe that the ICTY shouldn’t have removed Judge Harhoff from the Seselj case?