Henri Astier

Henri Astier is a senior producer for the BBC World Service radio. He writes on international affairs.

Recent Articles

Rights of the Despised

O n the face of it, Luka Misetic seemed an unlikely choice to defend a war crimes suspect. In late 1997, the Notre Dame Law School graduate had been a member of the Illinois bar for just over a year. His only clients had been businesses involved in intellectual property disputes and other such matters. But his lack of experience in international criminal law did not bother the suspect, a Bosnian Croat, who appealed for legal help. Misetic spoke the language (his parents are Croatian), and that was what mattered. The 27-year-old lawyer felt he could not turn his back on a defendant in need. He took on the case unhesitatingly, but with a sense of awe. "Suddenly," he recalls, "I went from being a person who usually represented corporate entities in litigation to somebody who was an individual's only friend"--and that individual, Anto Furundzija, was accused of unspeakable acts by the representatives of the civilized world. Furundzija was among the medium fish caught by NATO in the...