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.
Enver Hadzihasanovic in the courtroom
“The evidence presented by the defense will satisfy the Trial Chamber that General Enver Hadzihasanovic does not belong before this Tribunal," defense counsel Stephane Bourgon said in his opening statement.
The defense counsel said that the more than 70 witnesses it will call in the months to come will prove that Hadzihasanovic's "3rd Corps did everything to avoid conflicts with the HVO," that the accused "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. The foreign fighters committed the most serious crimes; the indictment alleges they were under the command of Hadzihasanovic and his co-accused Amir Kubura, who was in command of the 7th Muslim Brigade in 1993.
“After the tragic events in New York, the world has a better understanding of the problem of the mujahedin and all its complexity," Bourgon noted. But he added, "Hadzihasanovic should not pay for what happened on September 11, 2001 just because the mujahedin were active in Bosnia in 1993." The defense counsel stated that the mujahedin "had tried to influence" the situation in Central Bosnia, but that one "should not make a rash conclusion that they were linked with the BH Army."
Hadzihasanovic and Kubura are charged with command responsibility for crimes committed against Croat and Serb civilians and captured HVO members. The defense will try to prove that the mujahedin who killed prisoners in the villages of Miletici, Maljine and Orasac were not controlled by the 3rd Corps and that the accused did not know of those crimes at the time they were committed. The killing of captured HVO members in Dusina and the abuse of detainees in Kakanj were not committed by soldiers subordinate to the accused, the defense contends. The defense further states that Hadzihasanovic – in those cases when he suspected that there had been abuse, for instance in the Music School in Zenica – took measures to stop it.
Bourgon expects the Trial Chamber to acquit Hadzihasanovic of all the charges once it has heard all the defense’s evidence.
The defense today called its first witness, a former commander of one the brigades in Hadzihasanovic's 3rd Corps.
- Case : Hadzihasanovic & Kubura - "Central Bosnia"
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