The complicated war situation should not have affected the readiness of the commanders to investigate and punish crimes, the prosecutor notes in the closing argument at the trial of Hadzihasanovic and Kubura

The fact that the 3rd Corps of the BH Army was engaged in defensive warfare and that it operated in a very difficult situation should not have affected the conduct of investigations and punishment of crimes against Croat and Serb civilians in Central Bosnia, the prosecutor noted in the closing argument at the trial of the former 3rd Corps commander Enver Hadzihasanovic and Amir Kubura, who commanded the 7th Muslim Brigade. They are charged, on the basis of command responsibility, with violations of laws and customs of war, for their failure to punish or prevent the crimes committed by their subordinates.

“We have heard evidence about the crimes of Serb and Croat forces… but because of them the obligation of the BH Army 3rd Corps to prevent such acts in its own ranks was all the greater," prosecutor Daryl Mundis said. The prosecution notes that BH Army commanders had always stressed themselves their obligation to guarantee the safety of all the citizens in the territory under their control.

“Hadzihasanovic and Kubura were highly respected among their solders and among the representatives of the international community, which means they would have had support to take measures against the perpetrators”, prosecutor Stefan Waespi said. Yet, a number of crimes remained uninvestigated and unpunished, the prosecution notes singling out the murders in Dusina, Miletici, Maline and the severe abuse in Kakanj, Bugojno and the Music School in Zenica.

The prosecution charges the former 3rd Corps commanders with the murders committed by the mujahedin in the villages of Miletici and Maline, stating that they were committed as part of the joint combat operations by the 3rd Corps forces and foreign fighters.

“There was a pattern of regular use of foreign fighters in the 3rd Corps", Mundis says, referring to BH Army documents and witnesses testimony. He stresses in particular an interview given by the foreign fighters' leader Abu Abdel Aziz to a British reporter, where Aziz claimed he operated under the command of the Bosnian army.

The prosecution will continue with its closing arguments on Wednesday, and then the defense counsel for the two accused will begin presentation of their closing arguments.