Schwendiman, ’76, Nominated Chief Prosecutor of the EU’s Special Investigative Task Force

David Schwendiman, a 1976 University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law graduate, has been nominated Chief Prosecutor for the European Union Special Investigative Task Force (SITF). He takes over from Clint Williamson, who was the SITF Chief Prosecutor from October 2011 until August 2014.

Schwendiman brings a wealth of professional and academic experience in both international and domestic criminal prosecution, as well as dealing with the legal, political and practical implications of judicial processes. Since February 2014, he has been the Kabul-based Director of Forward Operations for the U.S. Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR). From 2006 to 2009, he served as an international prosecutor in the Special Department for War Crimes of the Prosecutor’s Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Schwendiman also represented the U.S. Attorney General in connection with three Olympic Games – Sydney in 2000, Salt Lake City in 2002 and Athens in 2004. Since 1994, he has been an Adjunct Professor of Law at the College of Law.

According to the announcement of Schwendiman’s nomination, the Special Investigative Task Force (SITF) was set up in 2011 to conduct an independent criminal investigation into the allegations contained in the Council of Europe (CoE) report of January 2011 by Senator Dick Marty entitled Inhuman treatment of people and illicit trafficking in human organs in Kosovo. The mandate of the SITF is to investigate and, if warranted, prosecute individuals for crimes alleged in the report.

SITF is an autonomous entity that derives its jurisdiction and legal authority from the European Union Council Decision establishing the EU rule of law mission in Kosovo (EULEX). The SITF consists of international staff only and, in order to further reinforce the independence and confidentiality of the process, the team is based in Brussels, Belgium. Consistent with the exchange of letters of April 2014 and the announcement of findings of July 2014, the SITF is fully committed to pursuing its ongoing independent investigation and to filing an indictment once an appropriate judicial mechanism is established outside Kosovo.

Read an associated story in The Salt Lake Tribune »