Rasim Delić

Rasim Delić (born on February 4, 1949 in Čelić, SR Bosnia and Herzegovina, Yugoslavia) is a former Chief of Staff of the Army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. He was a career officer in the Yugoslav National Army. He left the army as the Yugoslavia defederated. On 8 June 1993, the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina appointed Delić Chief of Staff of the Bosnian army, then in conflict with various Serb and Croat factions. He remained in that position until the end of the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1995.

He was charged with war crimes by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, and given a three year jail sentence. [ [http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=28057&Cr=ICTY&Cr1= “Bosnian Muslim army chief receives three-year jail term from UN tribunal”] UN News Centre, retrieved 15 September 2008] He was sentenced by the Trial Chamber for failure to prevent or punish the cruel treatment of twelve captured Serb soldiers in the village of Livade and in the Kamenica camp near Zavidovici in July and August 1995 at the hands of the Mujahideen. The general will remain in the Detention Unit until the end of the appellate proceedings. [ [http://www.trial-ch.org/en/trial-watch/profile/db/facts/rasim_delic_273.html TRIAL Watch] , fact sheet on Rasim Delic] [ Sense Agency - [http://www.sense-agency.com/en/stream.php?sta=3&pid=12636&kat=3] ]

War crimes investigation

Foreign mujahideen arrived in central Bosnia in the second half of 1992 with the aim of helping their Bosnian Muslim (Bosniak) coreligionists to fight against "enemies of Islam" during the Bosnian war. Mostly they came from North Africa, the Near East and the Middle East. On 13 August 1993, the Bosnian Army officially organized foreign volunteers into the detachment known as "El Mujahid" ("El Mudžahid") in order to impose control and order. [ [http://www.un.org/icty/hadzihas/trialc/judgement/060315/hadz-sum060315.htm ICTY] , Summary of the Judgmenet for Enver Hadzihasanovic and Amir Kubura, 15 March 2006] Indictment against Rasim Delić and short biography in official International Tribunal for former Yugoslavia documentation [http://www.un.org/icty/bhs/cases/delic/indictment/del-ind060811b.pdf (fwhole text)] ]

However, the ICTY Appeals Chamber in "Kubura and Hadžihasanović case" noted that the relationship between the 3rd Corps of the Bosnian Army headed by Hadžihasanović and the El Mujahedin detachment was not one of subordination but was instead close to overt hostility since the only way to control the detachment was to attack them as if they were a distinct enemy force. [ [http://www.un.org/icty/pressreal/2008/pr1240e.htm ICTY - APPEALS CHAMBER - Hadzihasanović and Kubura case] ]

Soldiers of the "El Mujahid" units, were alleged to have committed various war crimes and inhumane dealings with Serb and Croat soldiers, mainly prisoners, the following among others:International prosecutor for former Yugoslavia indictment with El Mujahid crimes confirmed and proved: [http://www.trial-ch.org/en/trial-watch/profile/db/facts/rasim_delic_273.html Trial Watch: Rasim Delić profile with rough description of main crimes] ] [ [http://www.blic.co.yu/hronika.php?id=56935 Blic: "Rasim Delić sentenced to three years"] ]

* According to the indictment, on June 8 1993, the same day Delić was appointed commander of the Headquarters, the Bosnian Army imprisoned 200 Croatian soldiers who surrendered after battles in and around the village of Maline. The captured soldiers were ordered by the Military Police of the ABiH 306th Mountain Brigade to march towards the nearby settlement of Mehurići, several miles from Maline. Near the village of Poljanice they met a group of around 10 Mujahideen who took a group of around 20 Croat soldiers and one woman and ordered them to come with them back to Maline. They were all ordered to stand in line after which they were murdered. According to the international prosecutor's indictment Rasim Delić was informed about these crimes but did nothing to prevent them or punish the criminals.

* On June 21 1995, two soldiers of the Army of Republic of Srpska were arrested and soon afterwards beheaded by soldiers of Army of BiH. The indictment states other prisoners arrested on the same day were tortured and then taken to Kamenica (Bosnia and Herzegovina) Camp. Another Serbian soldier, Gojko Vujičić, was alleged to have been beheaded on 24 July 1995. Other prisoners were forced to kiss the head which was on display in the room they were held in. Various types of torture were practiced in Kamenica Camp, including by electric shock, or caused horrible pain by having rubber pipes inserted into their legs and then pumped with great air pressure.

* On 11 September 1995 around 60 Serbian soldiers were arrested together with 3 women who were all then transferred to Kamenica Camp. All of the soldiers were never seen again and it is presumed they are dead. It is alleged that 3 women were raped and later freed, on November 10 1995. However, on February 26, 2008, Delić was acquitted on charges of rape under the Rule 98 bis of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence. According to presiding judge Bakone Moloto, in the course of its case, the prosecution did not lead any evidence on count three related to the rape. [SENSE TRIBUNAL - ICTY: DELIC ACQUITTED ON RAPE CHARGES [http://www.sense-agency.com/en/stream.php?sta=3&pid=10923&kat=3] ]

* Another group of 10 Serbian soldiers was arrested on 10 September 1995. They were all subjected to torture for a period of 12 days.

It was alleged that Rasim Delić knew that the Mujahideen and other soldiers of his army intended to to commit those crimes and knew that Kamenica (Bosnia and Herzegovina) Camp was the place those crimes were likely to happen but he did nothing to prevent those crimes.

On March 3 2005, Rasim Delić surrendered voluntarily to International Court. He declared not guilty on all accounts.

Verdict

On 15 September 2008, after around 11 months of trial, the Court passed the judgment in case of Rasim Delić. Delić was two times temporarily released to Bosnia, the first time in May 2005 [http://www.b92.net/info/vesti/index.php?yyyy=2007&mm=11&dd=26&nav_id=273830&nav_category=64 B92: Delić temporarily released] ] and the second time during new year break on 11 December 2007. The prosecutors didn't have remarks on these decisions. While on his second release, Delić was held in home detention for a while because he spoke with Haris Silajdžić - he was accused to have talked about his case with him, but he claimed he only talked about friends and family [ [http://www.b92.net/info/vesti/index.php?yyyy=2007&mm=12&dd=19&nav_category=64&nav_id=277269 B92: Delić in home detention in Bosnia] ]

The prosecutors requested 15 years of jail, while the defence requested his release for his guilt had not been proven. The defence claimed that in critical time he did not have control over Mujahideen so he couldn't have stopped them nor punish those men. [http://www.mtsmondo.com/news/vesti/text.php?vest=109558 MTS Mondo News: Rasim Delić sentenced to 3 years]

The court, however, concluded that Delić was not guilty for crimes over Croatian soldiers in Maline for he had been appointed commander of the Headquarters on the same day. He was also found not guilty of cruelty and murder in village Kesten and Kamenica Camp, when Mujahideen were alleged to have killed one old man, 52 Serbian soldiers and tortured another 10. He was found guilty only for one charge for failure to prevent or punish the cruel treatment of twelve captured Serb soldiers in the village of Livade and in the Kamenica camp (3 incidents between 1993 and 1995) and he was found not guilty for other accounts.

Although the Mujahideen and Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina soldiers crimes were proven, and it was agreed by the court that he had effective control over that unit during that time, the judges concluded that Delić could not have known about those murders at the time so he couldn't have stopped them. [http://www.danas.co.rs/vesti/svet/region/rasim_delic_osudjen_na_tri_godine_zatvora.9.html?news_id=139355 Danas.rs: Rasim Delić sentenced to 3 years of prison] ]

Delić was sentenced to three years in prison [http://www.iht.com/articles/reuters/2008/09/15/news/OUKWD-UK-WARCRIMES-DELIC.php Herald Tribune: Rasim Delić gets 3 years in prison] ] , with the 448 days already spent in detention counted as part of that sentence.

References


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