The Bosnia and Herzegovina Court of First Instance sentenced on Friday former commander of the Third Corps of the Army of Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina (ABiH) Sakib Mahmuljin to 10 years in prison for crimes against Serbs.
The Indictment states that, during the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, an armed conflict between the Army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Army of the Republika Srpska in the Zavidovici Municipality, the Accused Sakib Mahmuljin, who was then the Commander of the 3rd Corps of the Army of ABiH, within which was the “El Mujahidin” detachment, failed to prevent members of the “El Mujahidin” detachment from committing war crimes against prisoners of war and Serb civilians during the 1995 military operation of the ABiH Army in the wider area of Zavidovići and Vozuća, in central Bosnia.
According to the charges, members of the El Mujahideen unit, a detachment of Islamic fighters from Middle Eastern countries, killed at least 55 captured Bosnian Serb Army soldiers in the period from July to September 1995 and decapitated some of them. Plenty of photographic and video content was presented depicting the members of the unit celebrating the victory with human heads in hands. All of the victims were identified, some of them are exhumated but without skulls.
“The Panel sentenced the defendant to one year in prison for the criminal offence of War Crimes against Civilian Population, two years for the criminal offence of War Crimes against Wounded and Sick, and eight years for the criminal offence of War Crimes against Prisoners of War. In this regard, by applying Article 48(2) 3 of the CC SFRY, the accused received a compound sentence of imprisonment for a term of 10 years,” the Court states in the verdict.
It was also said that Mahmuljin was found guilty because, in the capacity of the Commander of the Third Corps of the Army of the ABiH as a superior officer, in contravention of the rules of customary international law and the Order of the Presidency of the R BiH concerning the application of the rules of international war law in the Armed Forces of the R BiH, he failed to undertake the necessary and reasonable measures to prevent the commission of the criminal offences of murder and inhuman treatment, as he had reasons to be aware that members of the El-Mujahedeen Unit subordinate to him were to commit such criminal offences. Mahmuljin, as it was said in the verdict, failed to undertake the necessary and reasonable measures to punish the perpetrators of the referenced criminal offence of murder and inhuman treatment, knowing that members of the El-Mujahedeen Unit subordinate to him were to commit such criminal offences and committed the referenced criminal offences”. /ibna