Thursday, June 28, 2007
Harvard Law School CrimProf Alex Whiting celebrated a victory on June 12 after winning his case against former Serbian rebel leader Milan Martic, who was sentenced to 35 years in jail by the international war crimes tribunal inThe Hague for atrocities carried out in Croatia in the early 1990s.
“Croats and other non-Serbs were targeted by discriminatory measures, forced removal, imprisonment, and murder in an effort to drive them away,” said Whiting during the trial. “Their property was looted and destroyed so they would never have a home to return to.” Currently a senior trial attorney in the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, Whiting was the lead prosecutor in the case against Martic.
During the trial, prosecutors revealed how Serbian leaders created a Serbian state called the Republic of Serbian Krajinaby annexing Serb territory within Bosnia and Croatia. Serbian leaders expelled Croats and other non-Serbs in order to establish the state.
As a former police chief, Martic helped train and equip police in the rebel Serb republic and was a key figure in Slobodan Milosevic’s criminal enterprise. He was convicted of ethnic cleansing in addition to the part he played in a 1995 rocket attack on the Croatian capital, Zagreb.
The Republic of Serbian Krajina lasted from 1991 to 1995, when a Croat offensive brought the area back under the Croatian control. Martic is the first Krajina leader to go on trial, since his predecessor as leader of the rebel republic, Milan Babic, avoided trial by pleading guilty to ethnic cleansing in 2004.
Whiting will bring his experience to HLS in the fall, leading the clinical offerings on domestic and international prosecution. He will teach Government Lawyer and the War Crimes Prosecution Workshop. He is also a former assistant U.S. attorney in Boston. [Mark Godsey]