Fuad Zilkic, former commander of the BH Army' 328th Mountain brigade testifies at the trial of Rasim Delic. The El Mujahid Detachment members dealt with all the issues in cooperation with Fadil Hasanagic, commander of the 35th division, he says. On Hasanagic's orders, Zilkic often resubordinated his troops to the El Mujahid Detachment where they underwent 'psychological’ preparations for the forthcoming combat operations

Fuad Zilkic, witness in the Delic trialFuad Zilkic, witness in the Delic trial

Fuad Zilkic is testifying at the trial of Rasim Delic, former commander of the BH Army General Staff. Zilkic is a former commander of the 328th Mountain Brigade. In 1995, the El Mujahid Detachment ‘dealt with all the issues' in cooperation with Zilkic’s superior officer Fadil Hasanagic, who was the commander of the 35th Division in the BH Army 3rd Corps.

In his examination-in chief, the witness noted that Hasanagic had introduced him to Abu Mali, the then commander of the El Mujahid Detachment, at a meeting in Zavidovici in early 1995. Hasanagic told Zilkic that the detachment would be deployed in his zone of responsibility until further notice. At that meeting, Abu Mali was accompanied by two other El Mujahid Detachment members, a man by the name of Muatez and Ajman, an interpreter.

The witness met with those El Mujahid Detachment members on two other occasions, once in the Panorama restaurant on 10 September 1995, the first day of Vozuca Operation and once in the Natron factory near Maglaj a couple of days later. He was in the company of Sakib Mahmuljin, the 3rd Corps commander, who was issuing orders and instructions for the combat tasks to the commanders of subordinate units, the witness said.

The witness went on to say that he had resubordinated elements of his brigade to the El Mujahid Detachment several times in 1995 on the orders of the 35th Division commander. The unit that was resubordinated most often was the Asim Camdzic unit whose members were religious, wore beards and behaved like the members of the El Mujahid Detachment, he said.

The resubordinated BH Army troops underwent seven-day training before going into combat, the witness said. The El Mujahid Detachment conducted this training in the village of Cardak in the Gostovic area. The training was of 'psychological' nature. The objective was to raise morale and ‘to meld together’ the BH Army troops and El Mujahid Detachment so they would be 'as compact as possible' in the forthcoming actions.

The witness confirmed that he had been notified about the capture of a group of VRS soldiers in the village of Kesten on 11 September 1995 and of their subsequent kidnapping. According to him, he informed his superior officer Fadil Hasanagic about this that same day.

In his evidence at the trial of General Delic in late August 2007, Hasanagic claimed that the 35th division had not been informed about the crimes that had been committed, as alleged in the indictment, by the El Mujahid Detachment. Sakib Mahmuljin, the 3rd Corps commander, assigned the tasks for the El Mujahid Detachment in the course of the Vozuca Operation in September 1995, Hasanagic said.

The trial continues on Tuesday when Delic's defense will cross-examine the witness.