Former Manitoba bureaucrat at centre of legal tussle at war crimes tribunal
Former Manitoba deputy justice minister Bruce MacFarlane has found himself at the centre of legal fallout from the prosecution of the late ex-Serbian dictator Slobodan Milosevic.
MacFarlane was appointed as a special prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia that sits in The Hague.
But now, he's facing allegations about the veracity of an investigation he undertook for the high-profile court.
MacFarlane was asked to look into allegations that French journalist Florence Hartmann purposely revealed minutes of the Supreme Defence Council of Serbia, which were subject to a publication ban.
After reviewing MacFarlane's report, the tribunal charged Hartmann with contempt of court for allegedly publishing confidential decisions the council made during the Milosevic trial.
Her defence team has accused MacFarlane of conducting a negligent, incomplete and flawed investigation and wants the proceedings against her stopped.
"You have to have a thick skin when you're involved in litigation," MacFarlane told CBC News. "I do, and so I'm not bothered by it. But I think it's important that the other side of the story come out, and … I have confidence that the tribunal will make an independent decision that will be fair.
"I have complete confidence in the court on this particular issue."
The current case involving Hartmann and MacFarlane has little to do with the Milosevic trial itself, said MacFarlane.
"The original order of confidentiality arose in the Milosevic case, [but] the issues in the current trial really don't have much to do with the Milosevic case," he said.
The case, which is being written about on internet blogs around the world, will be heard next week.
MacFarlane said he believes he's on solid legal ground but said litigation in Europe is far more adversarial than in Canada.