Reports in Case : Hadzihasanovic & Kubura - "Central Bosnia"
Enver Hadzihasanovic, Amir Kubura, Mehmed Alagic
SURVIVOR OF THE EXECUTION TESTIFIES AT TRIAL
More testimony about Mujahedin crimes in Central Bosnia at the trial of former BH Army commanders Enver Hadzihasanovic and Amir Kubura.
WHO BURNED HOUSES IN GUCA GORA?
After an attack by the BH Army on the village of Guca Gora, the Croat population fled and its houses were then systematically looted and burned.
A PROFESSIONAL KIDNAPPING
Testimony of Zivko Totic, former commander of the HVO brigade in Zenica, whose 15 April 1993 kidnapping caused passions to run high in Central Bosnia. Totic claims the attack was carried out by Military Police specials from the BH Army 3rd Corps, commanded by the accused Enver Hadzihasanovic.
BRUTAL CONDITIONS IN DETENTION CENTRES IN BUGOJNO
Former detainee Zoran Gvozden testifies about bad living conditions in detention centres run by BH Army in Bugojno, how detainees were beaten severely and taken to do forced labour
WHO COULD PUNISH THE CRIMES IN CENTRAL BOSNIA?
The prosecutor at the trial of Enver Hadzihasanovic and Amir Kubura presents evidence on how the Bosniak crimes against the Croat and Serb population in Central Bosnia were (not) punished. The witness, former public prosecutor in Zenica, reminds the trial chamber that the military court had jurisdiction over crimes committed by the military, and that it was hard to obtain statements from the Croat victims.
BURST OF GUNFIRE IN THE BACKS OF CROAT PRISONERS
In the village of Dusina, on 26 January 1993, BH Army troops shot to death six local HVO members and a civilian, as a prisoner who survived the murder by chance testified.
BURNING HOUSES AND DETAINING PEOPLE
New evidence about the crimes of B-H Army and "bearded foreigners" at the trial of former BH Army commanders in Central Bosnia
A WORKDAY IN THE LIFE OF DETAINEES IN BUGOJNO
Former prisoner of the BH Army in Bugojno describes a "working day" in which, in between stints of carrying corpses and digging graves, he was regularly beaten.
GENIE FROM THE LAMP
A BH Army commander said the mujahedin, who fought in Central Bosnia, were like the "genie in the tale of Alladin – they refused to go back to the lamp!" - At the trial of Enver Hadzihasanovic and Amir Kubura, a British officer stated that the mujahedin, despite their lack of discipline, operated as part of the 3rd Corps of the BH Army.
MUJAHEDIN "UNDER CONTROL"
The conclusion of the military information summary of the British Battalion for 23 June 1993, states that the mujahedin “are under effective control, as they are invariably found at the point of the [BH Army] 3rd Corps main effort.” The prosecutor presented this document today at the trial of the former BH Army commanders in Central Bosnia.
MUJAHEDIN FOUGHT WHERE THE FIGHTING WAS THE FIERCEST
Captain Mark Bower said that the bodies of the mujahedin killed in action could be found in places where the fighting between the BH Army and the HVO was the fiercest. – It seemed that the 7th Muslim Brigade was, together with the mujahedin, the "main fighting force" – The defense claims that the foreign fighters were not under the control of the BH Army 3rd Corps.
MUJAHEDIN WERE NOT LIKED
The commanders of the 3rd Corps of the BH Army did not like the mujahedin, but they were their superiors--so concludes Sir Martin Garrod, former British member of the ECMM.
COMMANDER "FOX" HAD A WELL-STRUCTURED CORPS
British UNPROFOR troops thought that Hadzihasanovic's 3rd Corps was "a well-structured force, with a good communications system" and "one of the most efficient commanders in the BH Army."
WRITTEN ORDERS ARE NOT ENOUGH
Enver Hadzihasanovic and Amir Kubura issued written orders condemning crimes committed by their subordinates and tried to prevent their recurrence, but such orders were not enough, stated Klaus Reinhardt, retired general of the German Army and NATO.
COMMANDER IN "A DIFFICULT SITUATION"
When assessing whether the commander of the BH Army 3rd Corps took all reasonable measures to punish crimes, one must take into account the difficult situation in which he exercised his command. So claims the defense in its cross-examination of the prosecution military expert.
“CLOSE COOPERATION” BETWEEN THE ARMY AND MUJAHEDIN
Having seen the defense exhibits, General Reinhardt changes his original views and concludes that General Hadzihasanovic took substantial steps to discipline the perpetrators of crimes from the ranks of the BH Army. The prosecution military expert, however, believes that the 3rd Corps "had ways to discipline a hundred or so mujahedin" with whom the BH Army, in his view, had been "cooperating closely."
WHO WAS THE "AGGRESSOR" IN CENTRAL BOSNIA?
Former EU monitors testify at the trial of the former commander of the BH Army 3rd Corps, Enver Hadzihasanovic, and the former commander of the 7th Muslim Brigade, Amir Kubura. While one of them claims that in April 1993 the HVO was the "aggressor force" in the Lasva valley, the other one states that in July 1993, it was the BH Army that was the "aggressor" in Bugojno.
“GROTESQUE” SCENES IN VARES
Former ECMM monitor testifies at the trial of former BH Army commanders in Central Bosnia that in November 1993, the streets of Vares "were full of people trying to loot and the roads leading from Vares were full of soldiers and civilians loaded with things they had looted."
3RD CORPS COMMANDER WAS "COMPOSED"
Former UNPROFOR commander in Central Bosnia considers the BH Army 3rd Corps to have been an "organized and trained" military force with a good information-gathering system on the ground. According to the prosecution, this shows that General Hadzihasanovic had information about crimes in the field but did not use all means at his disposal to prevent and punish them.
HOW TO PLUCK A THORN FROM YOUR SIDE
Enver Hadzihasanovic's defense is trying to prove that the accused did not condone the actions of the mujahedin but was in a quandary what to do about it. Witness Alistair Duncan thinks that the "thorn in his side" had to be plucked: "If the 3rd Corps wanted to solve the issue, they should have done it as soon as possible."
MUJAHEDIN AS "PSYCHOLOGICAL WARFARE" WEAPONS
Former deputy commander of the UN British Battalion in Central Bosnia thinks that the BH Army 3rd Corps used the mujahedin as a special weapon in "psychological warfare" to intimidate the opponent and affect this "will to fight." Colonel Watters states this was the "most intelligent way to fight."
UNCHR INVESTIGATED THE CRIME IN MALJINE
A former field officer of the UN Center for Human Rights (UNCHR) who had been gathering information about a mass execution of Croat prisoners near the village of Maljine testifies that the deputy commander of the BH Army 3rd Corps refused to facilitate his visit to the crime scene, rejecting the possibility that such a crime had occurred.
INTERVIEW WITH A MUJAHID IN BOSNIA
In the summer of 1992, a Sunday Times reporter went in search of mujahedin in Bosnia to learn why they came to fight there. He testified about what he learned at the trial of the former commander of the BH Army 3rd Corps, Enver Hadzihasanovic, and the former commander of the 7th Muslim Brigade, Amir Kubura--both charged with crimes committed by the foreign fighters.
WHY THE MUJAHEDIN WERE ALLOWED TO ENTER BH
“I know that the mujahedin were a problem for Hadzihasanovic and later for Mehmed Alagic," says former member of the ECMM, Sir Martin Garrod, who “failed to see at all why those foreigners had been allowed to enter BH."
THE WAR IN BOSNIA AS SEEN BY THE MUJAHEDIN
At the trial of Central Bosnia’s former BH Army commanders, prosecutors tendered into evidence a documentary describing the motives prompting mujahedin to come to Bosnia, their combat missions and deaths. The defense challenges the credibility of such evidence, since the author of the film is not known.
TWELVE HOURS OF VIDEO EVIDENCE
Twenty-five video clips at the trial of Central Bosnia’s former BH Army commanders, Enver Hadzihasanovic and Amir Kubura. The defense objects to the admissibility of most of them.
WHAT WAS THE CHARACTER OF THE CONFLICT IN CENTRAL BOSNIA?
The prosecution will not make its submission as to whether the conflict [in Central Bosnia] was an international or internal one, although they note that in other cases the conflict has been classified as international, it is stated in a written motion of the prosecution in the case against former ABiH 3rd Corps and 7th Muslim Brigade commanders
PROSECUTION RESTS ITS CASE
At the trial of the former BH Army commanders in Central Bosnia, the last prosecution witness, Vinko Zrno, testified about severe beatings and inhumane conditions in which Croatian prisoners were held in Bugojno
HADZIHASANOVIC AND KUBURA DEFENCE CALL FOR CHARGES TO BE DROPPED
The defense, set to begin its case in October, considers that the prosecutor has failed to prove the guilt of the former commanders in the BH Army 3rd Corps, and calls for the trial to be ended
THE BALL IS NOW IN THE DEFENSE’S COURT
In its decision on the defense motion for acquittal, the Trial Chamber concludes that the prosecution presented enough evidence to support the majority of charges against Hadzihasanovic and Kubura, finding the accused "did not carry out their duty to prevent and punish crimes by their subordinate soldiers." This means it is now up to the defense to challenge the evidence during its case.
PREPARATIONS FOR THE DEFENSE CASE
At a pre-defense conference, defense counsel for Enver Hadzihasanovic and Amir Kubura indicate they will call about 100 witnesses. The Chamber sets 1 July 2005 as the deadline for the completion of the defense case
HADZIHASANOVIC “SHOULD NOT BE A SCAPEGOAT”
In its opening statement, Enver Hadzihasanovic's defense indicates it will try to prove the 3rd Corps commander did everything possible in difficult wartime circumstances to prevent and punish crimes against non-Bosniaks.
DEFENSE: HADZIHASANOVIC “DOES NOT BELONG IN THE COURTROOM”
The defense will try to prove that General Hadzihasanovic "did not hesitate to take measures" to discipline his troops and that he was trying to "solve the problem" of the mujahedin in his corps’ area of responsibility. "One must not conclude rashly that the mujahedin were linked with the BH Army," defense counsel notes in his opening statement.
MUJAHEDIN "DID NOT OBEY ANYONE"
Former Chief of Staff of the BH Army 306th Brigade testifies about the conduct and status of the foreign fighters northeast of Travnik and about the HVO blockades that prompted the BH Army to launch military operations in June 1993.
Defense witness states no one in the 306th Brigade could control or punish the mujahedin; prosecutor notes BH Army tried to integrate foreign fighters into its ranks instead of taking radical measures against them because of their crimes.
“MAXIMUM EFFORTS" IN A PROBLEMATIC CONTEXT
The defense argues that when assessing Hadzihasanovic's criminal responsibility, judges should note that his corps, and the entire chain of command, had objective troubles functioning.
PARALLELS IN HISTORY
Between 1992 and 1995, "plans" for the division of BH dating from the pre-WWII period "came to life," says a history expert witness testifying for the defense at the Hadzihasanovic-Kubura trial. The witness says throughout its history, Bosnia and Herzegovina managed to retain its integrity and "never did have ethnically defined territories" within its borders.
PROTECTION OR ABUSE?
Prosecutors are trying to prove that in June 1993, the BH Army subjected Croat detainees in Mehuric near Travnik to abuse, while defense lawyers claim the BH Army, together with the police, actually tried to protect them.
WAS THERE A LINK BETWEEN THE BH ARMY AND THE MUJAHEDIN?
Although the defence argues that the BH Army 3rd Corps did not control the mujahedin--that it did not even have any contact with them--the prosecution views the lack of any decisive action against the foreign fighters as evidence that there were links between the two.
IN DETENTION OR “UNDER PROTECTION”?
General Enver Hadzihasanovic’s defense is challenging allegations that the BH Army subjected Croat detainees in the village of Mehuric to cruel treatment
SPECIAL MEASURES FOR MONASTERY
“The commander gave me a direct order to protect the houses, particularly the monastery and the church when we enter Guca Gora,” testifies Fahir Candzic, former commander of the 2nd Battalion, 306th Brigade, who entered Guca Gora with his troops on 10 June 1993. He testified as a defense witness at the trial of the former BH Army commander accused, among other crimes, of destruction in Guca Gora.
MUJAHEDIN AS “RELIEF WORKERS”
The mujahedin instilled fear in some Bosniaks, partly because of the crime in Miletici. But others supported them and were provided with food, religious education, and “fitness training,” a defense witness at the trial of the former BH Army commanders testifies.
AVOIDING CONFLICT “AT ALL COSTS”
Fikret Cuskic, former commander of the 17th Krajina Brigade and of the Bosnian Krajina Operational Group, headquartered in Travnik, testified that the BH Army had “put up with a lot of things” in order to avoid the conflict with the HVO
THE ARMY DID TRY TO RESIST THE MUJAHEDIN
Enver Hadzihasanovic is trying to prove that the BH Army personnel did not just stand by and let the mujahedin take away the civilians from the village of Maline for whose safety the BH Army was responsible. On the basis of command responsibility, Hadzihasanovic is charged with the execution of 25 people from Maline
WHAT DOES GUNSHOT RESIDUE PROVE
Forensic examination of the bodies of the persons killed in Dusina, carried out in the Zenica Hospital, did not indicate that any crime had been committed against the captives, Enver Hadzihasanovic’s defense argues
A RESPONSIBLE ACT OR FAILURE TO ACT?
The 3rd Corps commander did not have reliable information about the crimes in Dusina and Maline, defense witness Dzemal Merdan claimed today. Despite the fact that the 3rd Corps did not have the requisite jurisdiction to investigate the crimes committed by foreigners, it tried to solve the problem of their activities in its area of responsibility
EVIDENCE OF LINGUISTIC NATURE
Did the BH Army 3rd Corps “engage the foreigners” or did they “engage there on their own” in Central Bosnia – the resolution of the dilemma hinges on the translation of a document
Mehmed Alagic, former commander of the Bosnian Krajina Operational Group, tried in August 1993 to “persuade the mujahedin to become part of the chain of command,” but did not achieve anything, his assistant testified
MUSIC SCHOOL OR PRISON?
Witness Ramiz Dzaferovic, testifying at the trial of Enver Hadzihasanovic, former commander of the BH Army 3rd Corps, said that he could not rule out the possibility that there had been interrogations in the Zenica Music School building, but maintained that the allegations about detainee abuse were “terrible propaganda”
“NO ONE EVER COMPLAINED” ABOUT MALTREATMENT
Enver Hadizhasanovic’s defense witness, Osman Menkovic, states that none of the prisoners in the Travnik barracks or their families complained about the treatment of the prisoners in the Travnik barracks
CRIME AND PUNISHMENT
In August 1993, BH Army 3rd Corps commander received a report of a crime committed against a group of Croat prisoners in Bugojno but at the same time he was told that the perpetrators had been punished, the defense argues
ENGLISH COLONEL DEFENDS BOSNIAN GENERAL
The mujahedin were “very damaging for the BH Army and … were not under their command and control,” said former UNPROFOR British Battalion commander in Central Bosnia Bob Stewart. In his opinion, the fact that General Enver Hadzihasanovic is on trial for the crimes committed by the mujahedin is “shameful.”
A COMMANDER WITH LIMITED COMMAND CAPABILITY”
Former liaison officer in the UN British Battalion in Central Bosnia testifies about the functioning of the BH Army 3rd Corps at the time when the accused Enver Hadzihasanovic was in command
INFORMATION OR DISINFORMATION
Former Chief of Staff of the UNPROFOR Commander confirmed the thesis of Enver Hadzihasanovic's defense that there had been no reliable information about the crime in Dusina. The defense argues that the accused had no reason to doubt the reports he got from the field and that he therefore did not launch a broader investigation into the Dusina incident
WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR PROSECUTING CRIMES?
Enver Hadzihasanovic’s defense is trying to prove that district military prosecutors and district military courtS were responsible for investigating and punishing crimes committed by BH Army personnel. Hadzihasanovic has been charged with failing to punish his subordinate soldiers
A COMPLEX SITUATION FOR COMMANDERS
At the trial of the former commanders in the BH Army 3rd Corps, defense military expert Vahid Karavelic testifies about the “exercise of command on higher levels”. One should distinguish between omissions that are the result of “indolence or ignorance” from those caused by “objective” difficulties, the witness says
USE OF FORCE ONLY WITH PRIOR APPROVAL
Commander of the 3rd Corps had to take measures when the mujahedin started undermining his authority and the character of the Corps’ warfare, but he could use force only with prior approval of the politicians, says the defense expert witness for military matters at the trial of Hadzihasanovic and Kubura
COMMANDER “IN THE LEGAL SENSE”
According to the evidence presented by the defense, Amir Kubura formally did not become the commander of the 7th Muslim Brigade until August 1993 – this is after the crimes he has been charged with were committed
A SUBJECTIVE OR OBJECTIVE APPROACH?
At the trial of Enver Hadzihasanovic and Amir Kubura, the prosecutor focuses on the methods used by the defense military expert, General Vahid Karavelic, in drafting his expert report
SIMPLE DEFENCE AGAINST "ONE-DIMENSIONAL ACCUSATIONS"
Amir Kubura's defense claims in its opening statement it will try to prove that the accused was not the acting commander of the 7th Muslim Brigade in the spring of 1993, when the crimes he is charged with on the basis of command responsibility were committed
KUBURA ISSUED ORDERS BUT DID NOT EXERCISE COMMAND
“By his function”, the chief of staff "stood in for the commander" of the 7th Muslim Brigade in the spring and summer of 1993, but "in formal and legal terms", he became the commander only in August 1993, says the first defense witness called by Amir Kubura
MUJAHEDIN WERE “JUST HANGING ABOUT”
Foreign fighters were “hanging about” the area north of Travnik, but “they were not in any of the [BH Army] brigades and were not bound by anything,” testified assistant for morale in the 1st Battalion, 7th Muslim Brigade, at the trial of his former commander
“WE NEVER EVEN SEIZED ANY PROPERTY, LET ALONE PLUNDER IT”
In the course of military actions in Ovnak and Vares, troops of the 2nd Battalion 7th Muslim Brigade did not loot Croat houses, former battalion members claim at the trial of their former commander Amir Kubura
NEW DOCUMENTS ON MUJAHEDIN
At the trial of former BH Army 3rd Corps commanders, the prosecution seeks to be allowed to reopen its case "in the interest of justice" and to adduce new evidence on the status of foreigners in the corps
DEFENSE CLOSES ITS CASE IN KUBURA TRIAL
Defense of Amir Kubura completes presentation of evidence – The trial of the former B-H Army commanders in Central Bosnia, Enver Hadzihasanovic and Amir Kubura, to be completed with closing arguments in July
OBLIGATION TO PUNISH CRIMES
The complicated war situation should not have affected the readiness of the commanders to investigate and punish crimes, the prosecutor notes in the closing argument at the trial of Hadzihasanovic and Kubura
PROSECUTION ASKS FOR 20 YEARS FOR HADZIHASANOVIC AND 10 FOR KUBURA
Failure of the two BH Army commanders to prevent and punish crimes resulted in more than 30 murders, and abuse of prisoners and destruction of Croat homes in Central Bosnia, the prosecutor claims proposing that Hadzihasanovic and Kubura be sentenced to 20 and 10 years in prison respectively
DEFENCE CALLS FOR HADZIHASANOVIC'S ACQUITTAL
Former commander of the BH Army 3rd Corps had "the most difficult duties in the most difficult situation" and should not be linked with the crimes, defense lawyer Stephane Bourgon told the judges
DEFENCE CALLS FOR KUBURA'S ACQUITTAL
"There is not much we have to answer in the case against Amir Kubura," defense counsel says, adding that the prosecution arguments about the control of the 7th Muslim Brigade over the mujahedin were "based on assumptions"
PROSECUTION CALLS FOR DOUBLING OF SENTENCES FOR HADZIHASANOVIC AND KUBURA
At the beginning of the two-day appellate hearing in the case of Hadzihasanovic, former commander of the BH Army 3rd Corps, and Kubura, former commander of the 7th Muslim Brigade, the Appeals Chamber heard the arguments on the prosecution appeal and the appeal filed by Amir Kubura. The prosecution appealed against the sentences and Kubura appealed his conviction and sentence
HADZIHASANOVIC: DID HE LACK STRENGHT OR WILL?
At the appellate hearing today, the defense states that in the fall of 1993, Enver Hadzihasanovic didn’t have ‘physical capabilities to prevent and punish’ the Mujahideen crimes. The prosecution claimed that, on the contrary, the then commander of the 3rd Corps did not lack strength. What he did lack was will, and this entails command responsibility