November 6, 2003 at 9:21 a.m.
Slattengren recently returned from two weeks in Japan and China as part of a cultural exchange program with a delegation from Cambridge. “The trip of a lifetime,” he called it. And, he recently accepted an appointment as an international judge in Kosovo, through the United Nations.
Slattengren will travel with several other American judges who have joined the team of international experts from various countries to aid Kosovo.
In 1998 Albanians in Kosovo rebelled and Serbia crushed the revolt, cruelly, with mass slaughter, criminal actions against civilians, pillaging and other atrocities that we all learned of through print and broadcast coverage.
Slattengren explained that the United Nations has assumed responsibility to administer the Kosovo region and rebuilding a justice system is part of that task.
“We live in a small and shrinking world,” Slattengren added, “...we who are more fortunate need to help the less fortunate.
“If your neighbor’s house catches fire, you help put it out because you care for him, but also because if you don’t help the flames may engulf your house. It is the same with nations. The United Nations is our one hope for a peaceful and orderly world ...it is a privilege to work with this greatest hope for mankind.”
Judge Slattengren, of Franconia Township, is a former Chisago County Attorney (1968 to 1976) and was a district judge based in Center City from 1976 until his retirement in 2001. He’s planning on an initial posting at Pristina, Kosovo, serving on a team trying war crimes and crimes against humanity. We hope to have a follow-up piece with the judge upon his return.