Muhamed Sacirbey, also known as Muhamed Sacirbegovic, was born in 1956 in Sarajevo, Yugoslavia. At that time, the Communist regime led by Josip Broz (Tito) controlled Yugoslavia, and Sacirbey’s parents opposed Tito’s authoritarian government. For their dissenting political beliefs, Sacirbey’s parents were imprisoned for a time. In the 1960s, the Sacirbey family fled Yugoslavia and immigrated to the United States, where they settled in Ohio. On April 27, 1973, at the age of sixteen, Sacirbey became a naturalized citizen of the United States. During the years that followed, Sacirbey attended Tulane University on a football scholarship; he earned a bachelor’s degree and a degree in law at Tulane and a Master of Business Administration degree at Columbia University. After his admission to the Bar of the State of New York, Sacirbey worked as a lawyer for a New York law firm. In the 1980s, he left his law firm to work in the financial sector, first as a Vice President at Standard and Poor’s, the rating agency, and later as Vice President of an investment bank.
On April 5, 1992, the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovinia (“Bosnia”) declared its independence from Yugoslavia. The United States officially recognized Bosnia’s independence two days later, and Bosnia was admitted to membership in the United Nations on May 22, 1992. Shortly thereafter, Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic, a leader of the Muslim community of Bosnia, appointed Sacirbey to serve as Bosnia’s ambassador to the United Nations. Despite international recognition, Bosnian Serbs continued to oppose independence and, with the support of the government of Serbia—a neighboring province in the former Yugoslavia—launched a violent campaign to partition the country along ethnic lines. According to the United States Department of State, “[t]he conflict continued through most of 1995, and many atrocities were committed, including acts of genocide committed by members of the [Bosnian Serb armed forces] in and around Srebrenica from July 12-22, 1995, where approximately 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys were killed.” Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs, U.S. Dep’t of State, Background Note: Bosnia and Herzegovina (2009), available at www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/2868.htm (last visited December 8, 2009). Sacirbey, appointed Bosnian Foreign Minister upon the assassination of his predecessor in 1995, represented Bosnia at peace talks held in 1995 outside of Dayton, Ohio.2 Those talks lead to the Dayton Peace Accords, which were formally signed on December 14, 1995 in Paris and which ended the war in Bosnia after more than three years and ensured Bosnia’s independence under the supervision of a High Representative selected by the United Nations Security Council. Id.
Jurisdiction: U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit
|Circuit Court Judge(s)|
|Petitioner Lawyer(s)||Petitioner Law Firm(s)|
|James McGuire||Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP|
|Respondent Lawyer(s)||Respondent Law Firm(s)|
|Anjan Sahni||US Attorney's Office|