'Prosecuting War Crimes: Revisiting the Siege of Sarajevo' roundtable scheduled for Minneapolis campus March 9

Attorneys and a videographer involved with the prosecution of a former Bosnian Serb general for war crimes will participate in a roundtable discussion from 4 to 6 p.m. Tuesday, March 9, in Thornton Auditorium of Terrence Murphy Hall on the downtown Minneapolis campus of the University of St. Thomas.

“Prosecuting War Crimes: Revisiting the Siege of Sarajevo,” a Medtronic Business and Law Roundtable, is hosted by the St. Thomas-based Holloran Center for Ethical Leadership in the Professions.

Participants will be:

  • Alex Whiting, Harvard Law professor and former senior trial attorney, Office of the Prosecutor, International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), The Hague, The Netherlands;
  • John Docherty, assistant U.S. attorney for the District of Minnesota and former trial attorney, Office of the Prosecutor, ICTY;
  • Zoran Lesic, litigation support specialist, ICTY, a native of Sarajevo and professional photographer and videographer.

 In 2007, Whiting and Docherty participated in the prosecution of Dragomir Milosevic, a former Bosnian Serb general, for war crimes and crimes against humanity, at the ICTY. Milosevic had commanded the Serbian troops who had laid siege to Sarajevo in the final year of the Bosnian war in the middle 1990s.

On Dec. 12, 2007, Milosevic was convicted of terror, murder, and inhumane acts conducted during a campaign of sniping and shelling attacks that resulted in the death or injury of more than 1,000 civilians. He was sentenced to 33 years in prison. On Nov. 12, 2009, following an appeal, Milosevic’s sentence was reduced to 29 years.

Whiting, the lead prosecution counsel, and Docherty, who was a member of the prosecution staff, will present video and photographic evidence from the trial while addressing the challenges of prosecuting criminal acts that occurred on the other side of a continent more than a decade earlier.

Lesic, a Bosnian Serb who is married to a Bosnian Muslim, remained in Sarajevo during the siege. He later provided video and photographic evidence to the ICTY and was instrumental in its presentation at the trial. He will travel from The Netherlands to this event to talk about his role in the case and convey what it feels like to be trapped in a besieged city.

Two CLE credits have been applied for.  The cost of event is $25, including CLE credit.   St. Thomas students, staff and faculty will be admitted free, but are asked to make a reservation. For tickets and reservations, visit the St. Thomas School of Law Web site.  For more information contact (651) 962-4888 or lawcomm@stthomas.edu.