THE HAGUE | 13.07.2005.

PROSECUTION ASKS FOR 20 YEARS FOR HADZIHASANOVIC AND 10 FOR KUBURA

Failure of the two BH Army commanders to prevent and punish crimes resulted in more than 30 murders, and abuse of prisoners and destruction of Croat homes in Central Bosnia, the prosecutor claims proposing that Hadzihasanovic and Kubura be sentenced to 20 and 10 years in prison respectively

The prosecution calls for 20 years in prison for the former commander of the BH Army 3rd Corps Enver Hadzihasanovic and 10 years for the former commander of the 7th Muslim Brigade Amir Kubura.

In his closing argument, prosecutor Daryl Mundis said today that serious crimes were committed against the non-Bosniak population in Central Bosnia in 1993. Those crimes had sever consequences for the local population.

The prosecution stresses that Hadzihasanovic and Kubura are not charged with the commission of the crimes, but with the failure to prevent or punish those crimes, including the atrocities committed by the mujahedin. With this failure, Hadzihasanovic "made possible the commission of more than 30 murders which remained unsolved, allowed the persons who committed crimes in detention centers and individuals who burned and looted Croat homes to escape with impunity," Mundis noted, adding that the same applied to the 7th Muslim Brigade and Amir Kubura.

According to the prosecutor, an aggravating factor in their case is the fact that they had been professional officers before the war – Hadzihasanovic commanded a military police battalion in the JNA – and they knew what obligations the command duty carried with it.

The defense started the closing arguments today. They are expected to last several days. After the prosecutor made his recommendations for the sentence, Edina Residovic, defense counsel for Enver Hadzihasanovic, said, "The fact that the prosecutor has failed to find a single mitigating circumstance in this case will go down in the history of this Tribunal”.

For their part, the defense was trying to prove that the commander of the 3rd Corps faced "mission impossible" in 1993 and that "actual circumstances" must be taken into account when an evaluation is made whether he had taken every reasonable measure to prevent or punish crimes.