A former spokeswoman for a United Nations' war crimes tribunal has gone on trial in The Hague on charges of publishing classified information.

Florence Hartmann is accused of disclosing classified details of tribunal proceedings in a 2007 book and article she wrote about the inner workings of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia.

Prosecutors say Hartmann deliberately disclosed details of proceedings against the late Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic, who died while on trial for war crimes in 2006. 

Hartmann's lawyer said his client did nothing wrong because the information she published had already been made public by other journalists and even tribunal judges.

About 20 people demonstrated outside the court protesting the trial. They urged the court to sentence criminals not journalists and presented a petition with 3,502 signatures urging judges to acquit Hartmann.
She served as a spokeswoman for Chief Prosecutor Carla del Ponte for six years beginning in 2000.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.