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.
Enver Hadzihasanovic in the courtroom
The former commander of the British Battalion in Central Bosnia, General Alistair Duncan, thinks the BH Army 3rd Corps was an "organized and trained" military corps that had an "efficient" staff and a good information gathering system in place.
The prosecution called Duncan as its witness and is using his conclusions to prove that former 3rd Corps commander Enver Hadzihasanovic had information about crimes committed against Croat and Serb civilians and detainees but failed to take all reasonable measures to prevent and punish them. Hadzihasanovic is indicted--together with the former commander of the 7th Muslim Brigade, Amir Kubura--on the basis of his command responsibility.
General Hadzihasanovic was a "very intelligent, composed and capable commander," Duncan stated, adding that he "did not undertake any rash actions." The British general concluded, "I respect him as a commander."
Unlike Hadzihasanovic who was "composed," the HVO commander in Central Bosnia struck Duncan as a "harried" and "troubled" man. The British general testified as a prosecution witness in the Blaskic case. The Trial Chamber found Blaskic guilty of crimes committed by forces under his command.
When Duncan came to Central Bosnia, the HVO was the "dominant force" there, but he says this started to change after the HVO committed crimes against Bosniaks in Ahmici. "Towards the end of my mission, the BH Army gained the upper hand in Central Bosnia. It became the force that controlled the events."
Hadzihasanovic's defense counsel Stephane Bourgon stressed the "complexity of the situation" in which Hadzihasanovic discharged his duties as commander, including the blockade of Central Bosnia by the VRS and HVO. He also noted that the 3rd Corps had to launch offensive actions to ensure its survival in the area.
“I have no problems with the military plans and actions of the BH Army, but the way in which they were executed might be a problem," the witness replied. "The BH Army managed to overcome the initial superiority of the HVO, and that's all right, but there are things that must not be ignored simply because the situation was difficult.”
These “things,” according to the indictment, included plunder and destruction, abuse of detainees and, in particular, the killing of detainees committed, according to witness statements, by mujahedin in Miletici, Maljine and other villages. Prosecutors are trying to prove that the foreign fighters acted as part of the 3rd Corps; they are charging Hadzihasanovic with their crimes.
Duncan states that he personally never saw the mujahedin and that it was difficult to verify the information about them that came in. However, on the basis of the British Battalion’s intelligence assessments, he concluded that the foreign fighters were used to speed up the attacks of the 3rd Corps and that they were therefore not "out of control," as the commanders of the corps claimed.
- Case : Hadzihasanovic & Kubura - "Central Bosnia"
- 2004-05-12 “GROTESQUE” SCENES IN VARES
- 2004-05-11 WHO WAS THE "AGGRESSOR" IN CENTRAL BOSNIA?
- 2004-05-07 “CLOSE COOPERATION” BETWEEN THE ARMY AND MUJAHEDIN
- 2004-05-14 HOW TO PLUCK A THORN FROM YOUR SIDE
- 2004-05-18 MUJAHEDIN AS "PSYCHOLOGICAL WARFARE" WEAPONS
- 2004-05-20 UNCHR INVESTIGATED THE CRIME IN MALJINE