FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
THURSDAY - March 5, 2009
ASSISTANT UNITED STATES ATTORNEYS TO TRAIN JUDGES,
PROSECUTORS, AND INVESTIGATORS IN KOSOVO
RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA - United States Attorney George E.B. Holding announced today that several members of his office will travel to Kosovo over the next eight weeks to train judges, prosecutors, and investigators in various areas of international criminal law.
Kosovo, a part of the former Yugoslavia and a territory long claimed by Serbia, formally declared its independence on February 17, 2008. That declaration was the culmination of efforts begun when the United States and NATO allies intervened in Kosovo’s violent conflict with Serbian troops in 1999. Since that time, with the aid of the United States, various European countries, and the United Nations, the people of Kosovo have been working to develop a legal system with integrity and reliability and which focuses on the rule of law. The United States Department of Justice, through its Office of Overseas Prosecutorial Development Assistance and Training (OPDAT), has been playing a key role in the training of personnel within the Kosovoan legal system. Indeed, since 2008, the Department has been represented in Kosovo by Assistant United States Attorney Kimberly Moore of the Eastern District of North Carolina.
Now, five other members of this office, along with federal and state investigators, will separately travel to Kosovo in the coming weeks to participate in this important effort:
- J. Frank Bradsher, Deputy Criminal Chief for Narcotics, along with Special Assistant United States Attorney Timothy Severo and a team of agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Internal Revenue Service, and the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, will travel to Kosovo on March 7, 2009, to train participants in the area of drug trafficking.
- Robert J. Higdon, Jr., Chief of the Criminal Division, along with Special Agent Todd Elmore of the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Charlotte, will leave on March 14 to train in the area of money laundering and related crimes.
- On April 11, 2009, Michelle Scott, our Victim-Witness Coordinator, will join a multi-district team training in the area of victims’ rights and issues.
- On May 2, 2009, Clay Wheeler, Deputy Criminal Chief for Economic Crime, will be departing for Kosovo with Special Agent Tim Reilly of the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation, to provide training on international white collar and tax crimes.
- And finally, Assistant United States Attorney Jay Exum, who oversees the prosecution of child sex abuse and exploitation cases for our office, will be departing for Kosovo on May 9, 2009. Assisting Mr. Exum with instruction in this area will be Special Agent Mike Smith of the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation.
Mr. Holding commented, “I am pleased that my office can participate in this important international effort. There is no doubt that with the advent of modern technology and the globalization of crime, it is imperative that we partner with other nations to address drugs, money laundering, financial crimes, and other areas of criminal law. Moreover, it is thrilling to be a part of the development of a new and fledgling democracy. I am pleased that my office can play a role in this vital effort.”
News releases are available on the U. S. Attorney’s web page at www.usdoj.gov/usao/nce within 48 hours of release.