Mahmuljin trial – farce and mockery of victims and Hague tribunal

SARAJEVO – The way the Prosecutor’s Office, especially prosecutor Sedin Idrizovic, conducts the proceedings against Gen Sakib Mahmuljin, commander of the 3rd Corps of the so-called Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina, is shameful and just a judicial farce and catering to the proven criminals of the El-Mujahid Squad and its orchestrators, says counterterrorism expert Dzevad Galijasevic.

“What is the purpose of the politically motivated qualification of the armed conflict in BiH as an ‘international armed conflict” at the time when the Hague Tribunal definitely and clearly defined the war in BiH as the ‘internal armed conflict’ meaning a civil war in several final verdicts /first in the case of Dusko Tadic and then in the case of Dragoljub Kunarac, and finally Enver Hadzihasanovic and Amir Kubura?

“The war in which soldiers from Syria, Egypt, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, etc. also took part, which does not mean that those countries committed an aggression against BiH or some of its constitutional peoples, but definitely committed brutal crimes inspired by religious extremism in that war,” Galijasevic told Srna.

There are only three judgements of the Hague Tribunal that the BiH Prosecutor’s Office could have used to get acquainted with those crimes, he said.

“The first judgement was in the case of Enver Hadzihasanovic, Mehmed Alagic and Amir Kubura of July 16, 2003, when a five-member trial chamber with the presiding judge Theodor Meron issued a decision upon an interlocutory appeal denying the jurisdiction with respect to command responsibility, on 67 pages. The appeal of two generals and one colonel of the army of Alija Izetbegovic had only one goal – to deny the jurisdiction of the Hague Tribunal as an international court to adjudicate on the command responsibility in an internal armed conflict,” said Galijasevic.

The Hague Tribunal confirmed its jurisdiction in internal armed conflicts by citing, above all, the case against the tribunal’s first prisoner, Dusko Tadic from Prijedor, and partly also citing the judgement in the case of Dragoljub Kunara from Foca.

But, Izetbegovic’s fanatics in judiciary, emphasises Galijasevic, do not want the same law and rules to be applied in Prijedor, Foca and Sarajevo.

“In the case against Enver Hadzihasanovic and Amir Kubura, the judgement of March 15, 2006, there is a handwritten heading in capital letters on page 24 under the heading Chapter III: “CHARACTER OF THE CONFLICT: INTERNAL ARMED CONFLICT,” and this is accurately explained and proved in points 27 and 28,” explained Galijasevic.

In the case and judgement of Rasim Delic, the Hague Tribunal did not deal with this issue any more, but considered it an undeniably established fact.

Galijasevic further said: “The BiH Prosecutor’s Office ingratiates itself with the Party of Democratic Action, SDA, and Bakir Izetbegovic, the political and biological descendant of Alija Izetbegovic, in an unprofessionally and immorally drafted indictment, emphasising the unsustainable qualification of the BiH war as an ‘international armed conflict’.

“That’s not all, of course. Prosecutor Idrizovic has neglected the many proven crimes and reduced the whole indictment to 52 killed Serb prisoners, even though it can be observed from the judgements of Rasim Delic and Hadzihasanovic-Kubura that the number of the killed, tortured and ritually slaughtered was at least 92,” Galijasevic point out.

According to him, the Croats killed in the villages of Maline and Bikosi, 24 of them, are not part of this indictment, even though members of the El-Mujahid Squad brutally killed them. Neither are the Serbs nor Croats killed in Zenica and Central Bosnia.

Other crimes which Sakib Mahmuljin must have known about and should have punished if he was unable to prevent them are not part of the indictment either.

In the case of Rasim Delic, established were three series of crimes contained in the judgement itself: “… murder and cruel treatment in three incidents: Maline-Bikosi in June 1993; Livade and Camp Kamenica in July and August 1995, and Camp Kamenica and Kesten in September 1995.”

“The first incident, which is how these horrific crimes are called in The Hague, refers to the killing of 24 detained Croats, civilians and soldiers of the Croatian Defence Council (HVO) committed by foreign Muslim fighters known as the Mujahideen. The judgement states that in the same incident, at least six other Croats were wounded by fire weapons. These crimes occurred in the June of 1993 in the village of Bikosi, Travnik municipality,” said Galijasevic.

The second incident refers to the murder of three detained soldiers of the Army of Republika Srpska (VRS) and the cruel treatment of the detained VRS members in July and August 1995, committed by the Mujahideen of the so-called El-Mujahid Squad, which the prosecutor claims was part of the so-called Army of BiH.

“The judgement states that the criminal offences were committed in Livade, Zavidovici municipality and in the camp that was governed by the El-Mujahid Squad in the Gostovica River valley near Zavidovici. That camp was also known as Camp Kamenica. The perpetrators of those crimes were members of the El-Mujahid Squad,” said Galijasevic, repeating that all this is stated in the judgement.

The third incident occurred in September 1995, involving the killing of two VRS members near the village of Kesten, Zavidovici municipality, as well as the cruel treatment and killing of 52 VRS prisoners and an elderly Serb, and the cruel treatment of 10 detained VRS members in Camp Kamenica. The judgement again states that the perpetrator was the El-Mujahid Squad.

“Even though prosecution at The Hague calls these severe crimes incidents, the three series of crimes are proven and undeniable, regardless of the narrow responsibility for them,” emphasised Galijasevic.

The 760-page judgement in the case of Hadzihasanovic-Kubura explains in detail many crimes in Central Bosnia, gives the number of the killed in various camps and prisons, and deals with the events in Zenica and the prison camp in the Penal and Correctional Institution, the camp in the Music School, torture and killing of Serb and Croat civilians.

“At the same time, this judgement gave a thorough account of the creation and operations of the 3rd Corps, explained the roles of all the brigades, especially their links with the Mujahideen. Even though it analysed the El-Mujahid Squad in its study of the 3rd Corps, the Hague Tribunal analysed in this judgement too all the evidence related to the Mujahideen /pages 124 through 262/, their arrival in BiH, paramilitary action and establishment of a 3rd Corps unit, their military bases and especially their crimes, manners of execution, religious motivation and brutality,” noted Galijasevic.

The court dedicated special attention to the Mujahideen bases and dealt with them on 10 pages of the judgement.

Specifically emphasised, said Galijasevic, were the bases in Poljanice, Orasac, Travnik, Zenica, villages Arnauti, Bijelo Bucje and Ravno Rostovo.

“Not being prepared and not wanting to face the war crimes of the Mujahideen and their responsibility, Sarajevo politicians, Alija Izetbegovic and the SDA allowed the Islamist-terrorist octopus to grow from said military Mujahideen bases, where today there are the so-called ‘paradzemats’ or, to put it more precisely, terrorist camps,” said Galijasevic.

The least the BiH Prosecutor’s Office has to do, he notes, is to apply the evidence collected in the Delic and Hadzihasanovic-Kubura cases and stop minimising and covering up the crimes and writing a false history of the 1990s war with politically motivated cases and indictments, which cannot bring anything good to anyone.

“Such an immoral and politicised approach of the Prosecutor’s Office’s attitude to the Mujahideen and their patrons in BiH has turned this country into the biggest terrorist camp in Europe and a threat to the whole continent, especially to the Western Balkans,” said the counterterrorism expert. (Srna)