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Former Hague Tribunal Spokeswoman again Refuses to Enter Plea

The former prosecution spokeswoman at the United Nations war crimes tribunal again has refused to enter a plea at her trial on charges of disclosing confidential information.

The lawyer for Florence Hartmann told the tribunal in The Hague of her decision, but did not specify a reason. The presiding judge then entered a plea of not guilty on Hartmann's behalf.

Last month Hartmann refused to enter a plea until the court rules on who will pay for her attorney.

In a 2007 book, Peace and Punishment, Hartmann accused France, Britain and the United States of blocking the arrest of key Bosnian Serb war crimes suspects Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic.

In an article published in January by the Bosnian Institute, Hartmann wrote that tribunal judges refused to disclose evidence against Serbia for the 1995 Srebrenica massacre in which Serb forces in Bosnia-Herzegovina killed about 8,000 Muslim men and boys.

Hartmann served as a spokeswoman for Chief Prosecutor Carla del Ponte for a six-year period beginning in 2000.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.