Rasim Delic indictment

Rasim Delic is Bosnian Army general born on 4 February 1949 in Celic in the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. From the outset he took up a military career in the Yugoslav army. With the onset of the Bosnian War he joined the Bosnian government in Sarajevo. Rasim Delić is one of the most senior military commanders of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina to be tried before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY). He was indicted on 16 February 2005 on four counts of violations of laws and customs of war and voluntarily surrendered on 27 February. On 6 May 2005 Delić was provisionally released to Bosnia and Herzegovina, returning to ICTY custody on 25 June 2007. [ [http://www.un.org/icty/pressreal/2007/pa314e.htm ICTY] , Press Advisory, 6 July 2007] [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/4303763.stm BBC] , Top Bosnian Muslim held in the Hague, 28 February, 2005] He was sentenced by the Trial Chamber to three years of prison 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]

Indictment by the ICTY for war crimes

According to the indictment, on 8 June 1993, the day Rasim Delić assumed the post of Commander of the Main Staff, units of the ABiH 3rd Corps, including the 306th Mountain Brigade, 7th Muslim Mountain Brigade and the ‘Mujahedin’, launched an attack on the village of Maline in the Travnik municipality. Following the surrender of the forces of Croatian Defence Council (HVO), more than 200 Bosnian Croat civilians and HVO soldiers were captured and ordered by the Military Police of the ABiH 306th Mountain Brigade to march towards the nearby settlement of Mehurići. At the village of Poljanice, several hundred meters from Mehurići, a group of approximately 10 ‘Mujahideen’ ordered the column to stop, removed approximately 20 surrendered HVO soldiers and one woman, and ordered them to walk back towards Maline. When the group arrived at the junction that led to Bikoši, the ‘Mujahedin’ then indiscriminately opened fire on the group, executing some of the survivors by shooting them in the head. According to the indictment, Rasim Delić was informed of these murders but failed to take the necessary and reasonable measures to punish the perpetrators.

The indictment further alleges that in the early hours of 21 July 1995, the ‘El Mujahed’ Detachment of foreign volunteers launched an attack in Krčevine in the Zavidovići municipality. A number of soldiers from the Bosnian Serb Army (VRS) were captured and taken to Livade village and later transferred to the Kamenica Camp in the Gostović valley. The indictment alleges that captured VRS soldiers were subjected to cruel treatment, while two were killed and decapitated by the members of ‘El Mujahed’.

The indictment further alleges that on 10 September 1995, following a combined offensive approved by the Supreme Command Staff, units under the command of the ABiH 2nd and 3rd corps conducted military operations against VRS forces on the Mount Ozren-Vozuća salient, capturing the territory formerly held by the VRS. On 11 September 1995, approximately 60 people, primarily VRS soldiers and a few civilians, were captured. According to the indictment, the group was detained in a hall in the nearby village of Kesten, Zavidovići municipality. It is alleged that between 11 and 17 September, members of ‘El Mujahed’ murdered most of the approximately 50 captured VRS soldiers. By 17 September 1995, fewer than a dozen of the VRS soldiers remained alive.

The indictment states that Rasim Delić was put on notice that the ‘El Mujahed’ Detachment was operating the Kamenica Camp and that its members had a propensity to commit crimes, and particularly crimes against captured enemy combatants and civilians. Moreover, Rasim Delić knew or had reason to know that soldiers of the El Mujahed’ Detachment under his command and effective control were about to or had committed these acts and failed to take the necessary and reasonable measures to prevent and punish these crimes. [ [http://www.trial-ch.org/en/trial-watch/profile/db/facts/rasim_delic_273.html TRIAL Watch] , fact sheet on Rasim Delic]

The indictment concerning Rasim Delic was drawn up on 15 February 2005 by the Prosecutor of the ICTY and confirmed the following day by a judge.

The bill of indictment was made public on 24 February 2005. Rasim Delic surrendered to the ICTY on 28 February 2005. On 3 March 2005, he pleaded not guilty to all of the charges laid against him. On 6 May 2005, the Trial Chamber III ordered his provisional release until the 25 June 2007, pending the start of this trial. On 5 July 2007 the ICTY denied a request by prosecutors for Delic to be tried in Bosnia and Herzegovina instead of The Hague. Prosecutors had argued that changes in the indictment, limiting its scope as well as the time available to present witnesses, meant the tribunal was no longer the appropriate venue to try Delic. The judges disagreed, saying it would not be in the interests of justice to suspend the trial at the present stage of the case. The trial began on 9 July 2007. [ [http://www.trial-ch.org/en/trial-watch/profile/db/facts/rasim_delic_273.html TRIAL Watch] , fact sheet on Rasim Delic]

Verdict

In the case against Rasim Delic, the former commander of the Bosnian Army General Staff, the ICTY Trial Chamber decided, with a majority of votes, presiding judge Moloto dissenting, that the former commander had effective control over the members of the El Mujahid Detachment, but had no knowledge of the crimes they committed, although in one case he had reason to know of their tendency to treat prisoners of war cruelly. He was sentenced to three years of prison 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. [Sense - [http://www.sense-agency.com/en/stream.php?sta=3&pid=12636&kat=3] ]

See also

*Bosnian War

References


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