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Cover of the spring 2003 SFSU magazine. Geography Professor Max Kirkeberg and students tour of San Francisco's Western Addition.

 

SFSU Magazine Online, Spring/Summer 2003, Volume 3, Number 2.
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Alumni and FriendsA smiling alumna, Kimberly Fleming sits at her desk at The Hague where she helps prosecute war crimes suspects.

 

Behind the Scenes

After listening to a classroom discussion of ethnic cleansing in Bosnia in the mid-1990s, Kimberly Fleming (B.A., BECA, '95) decided she wanted to help open people's eyes to the horrific bloodshed that followed the breakup of Yugoslavia.

Today she is helping to ensure that such crimes will not be repeated. Since 2001, she has been working as a case manager in The Hague, Netherlands, for the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, the ad hoc court where former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic and other war crimes suspects are being prosecuted.

Fleming was vacationing in the Netherlands when her curiosity led her to visit the Tribunal's proceedings. She impulsively applied for a job, and was accepted on the spot.

After searching the Tribunal's massive database of material collected by UN investigators, Fleming pulls together the relevant documents and decides how prosecutors can most effectively present them as evidence in court.

In March the court ruled on her team's first case, the prosecution of Bosnian Croats Mladen Naletilic, who has been called the country's "godfather of organized crime," and his accomplice, Vinko Martinovic. Judges found them guilty of leading a campaign of killings, torture and mass expulsions of Bosnian Muslims. Naletilic was sentenced to 20 years in prison, Martinovic to 18.

The verdict brought Fleming a tremendous amount of satisfaction. "My goal had always been to have an impact on people's lives," she says. "Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine I would be doing that on the scale I currently am."

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