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

Vahid Karavelic, witness in the Halilovic trialVahid Karavelic, witness in the Halilovic trial

At the trial of Enver Hadzihasanovic and Amir Kubura, the prosecutor took only one day to cross-examine the defense military expert Vahid Karavelic, after his examination-in-chief which lasted several days. The prosecutor did not deal with the conclusions reached by the expert, but with the methodology he used in drafting his report. Karavelic’s expert report dealt with the “exercise of command at higher levels” in the BH Army in Central Bosnia in 1993. The accused former commanders of the 3rd Corps and the 7th Muslim Brigade have been indicted on the basis of their command responsibility. Karavelic is a retired major-general in the BH Federation Army. During the war, he commanded the BH Army 1st Corps.

As the prosecutor reminded the court, the military expert stated that he “tried to look at [events] through the eyes” of the accused. In the prosecutor’s opinion, this raises the question whether he approached the drafting of his report in an objective or subjective manner. Karavelic says that he tried to put himself in the position of the accused precisely in order to present “as objectively as possible” the complex war-time conditions in which they operated. In his expert report he states that the personnel in the 3rd Corps was not sufficiently trained, that the communications were bad and that the corps fought on two fronts – those elements have to be taken into account when an evaluation is made whether the accused commanders did all they could to prevent or punish the crimes.

The prosecutor questioned the expert in detail about what documents he had relied on when making his report and how much material he had received from the defense team. The witness stated that the defense provided him with the background material from the trial and a set of questions to be addressed in his report. He claims that no one from the defense team did “not influence in any way” his conclusions. In his opinion, reports by other military experts dealing with the BH Army would be similar to his.

The defense military expert’s testimony will continue Thursday, with the judges’ questions.