TU Law Students at Center of War Crimes Trial at The Hague

Thursday, June 02, 2011

TU College of Law students Sara Sharp and Arthur Loyd, who will begin their third year at the College this fall, are in the middle of a prominent world story. Bosnian Serb genocide suspect Ratko Mladic was captured on May 26 in a Serbian village, during the students' first week interning at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), a United Nations court at The Hague (in the Netherlands) dealing with 1990s war crimes that occurred in the Balkans.

On Tuesday, May 31, Mladic was placed in a U.N. detention unit. Mladic, who was the commander of Bosnian Serb forces during the civil war in Bosnia-Herzegovina, will be tried at the ICTY.

Sharp reports that there was great enthusiasm at the Tribunal as it was announced that Mladic was captured. "It was extremely exciting as the whole Tribunal crowded into the cafeteria to watch the press conference confirming Mladic’s identity," Sharp said. "Everyone cheered and then went back to their sections. My section, Office of Legal Aid Affairs and Detention Matters (OLAD), broke open two bottles of champagne they kept chilled just in case Mladic was captured." Sharp and Loyd are currently using the back entrance of the Tribunal due to the heightened media presence at The Hague.

Loyd works in the Court Management Support Services (CMSS) section, which was involved in Mladic’s transport, and will be at Mladic’s initial hearing before the war crimes tribunal on Friday, June 3. Sharp’s section met Mladic at the detention unit to inform him of his right to counsel, and her office assigned his counsel. "Although Arthur and I have not yet interacted with Mladic, it’s likely (hopefully), as things die down in a month or more, that Arthur will find himself in court with Mladic and I will find myself at the detention unit with him," Sharp said.

Sharp reports that due to the capture of Mladic, the ICTY will be in operation for a longer period of time, perhaps providing an opportunity for employment after graduation.

Scott Been