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.
Fahir Candzic, defense witness for Hadzihasanovic
The BH Army – as the defense of Enver Hadzihasanovic is trying to prove – took special measures in the course of military operations in June 1993 to prevent the destruction of houses and places of worship in Croat villages, and in particular the Catholic monastery in Guca Gora.
The former commander of the BH Army 3rd Corps, Hadzihasanovic, and the former commander of the 7th Muslim Brigade, Amir Kubura, have been charged--on the basis of command responsibility--for the plunder and burning of Croat houses and the desecration of the monastery in Guca Gora, near Travnik.
“The commander of the [BH Army] 306th Brigade gave me a direct order to protect the houses, particularly the monastery and the church when we enter Guca Gora,” testified Fahir Candzic, former commander of the 2nd Battalion, 306th Brigade. He entered Guca Gora with his troops on 10 June 1993 after the withdrawal of the HVO and the Croat population.
“We entered the village without any fighting…. There was not much damage to the village, perhaps just a few barns that had been burned in the fighting on 8 June,” the witness said. “I can say that at that moment, everything was under control.”
It is not clear from his testimony when things got out of hand. A videotape shown by the prosecutor shows foreign fighters, the so-called mujahedin, in the church in Guca Gora. After their “visit,” the interior of the church was desecrated. Witness Candzic, however, states that the mujahedin were not in the village when he passed through it and that he does not know what happened after he left. Candzic does know that special measures were taken to protect religious and cultural monument there.
On the same day when he passed through Guca Gora, “orders came for a platoon of the military police from the 306th Brigade to secure the monastery and the church.” Later, “in order to protect the monastery even better, the headquarters of the 306th Brigade was located in its offices,” the witness explained.
Amir Kubura’s defense is trying to prove that the units of the 7th Muslim Brigade did not fight in this area northeast of Travnik at the time when the violations were committed. When asked by the defense, Candzic confirmed that he did not have any information about the presence of the 7th Muslim Brigade.
- Case : Hadzihasanovic & Kubura - "Central Bosnia"
- 2004-11-10 IN DETENTION OR “UNDER PROTECTION”?
- 2004-11-08 WAS THERE A LINK BETWEEN THE BH ARMY AND THE MUJAHEDIN?
- 2004-11-04 PROTECTION OR ABUSE?
- 2004-11-18 MUJAHEDIN AS “RELIEF WORKERS”
- 2004-11-22 AVOIDING CONFLICT “AT ALL COSTS”
- 2004-11-30 THE ARMY DID TRY TO RESIST THE MUJAHEDIN