Bosnia ex-army commander sentenced to 10 years for failure to prevent 1995 war crimes
Bosnia ex-army commander sentenced to 10 years for failure to prevent 1995 war crimes

The Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina Friday convicted former Bosnian army commander Sakib Mahmuljin of several war crimes and sentenced him to prison for 10 years.

Mahmuljin served as a commander of the 3rd Corps of the Army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina (ARBiH) during the international armed conflict between the ARBiH and the Army of the Republika Srpska (Bosnian Serb Army) during the 1990s. He was convicted for the failure to prevent his unit’s commission of war crimes against Serbs during the ARBiH’s 1995 military operation in the areas of Vozuća and Zavidovići in central Bosnia.

The original indictment included charges of war crimes against prisoners of war, the wounded and sick, and civilians. According to the court, Mahmuljin failed to prevent any such war crimes “even though he knew that members of the [3rd Corps] made preparations to commit crime.” The court further stated that “once the crime was committed he failed to undertake any actions to punish the perpetrators of the crime.”

During the armed conflict, members of the 3rd Corps’ unit called El Mujahideen that comprised foreign Islamist fighters tortured and murdered 53 Serbian prisoners of war from July to October 1995. Some of the victims were already wounded or sick, and a few were civilians.

Over 100,000 people died during the Bosnian conflict. The international community had condemned the ethnically charged conflict for its large number of civilian casualties.

The result of a five-year trial, Mahmuljin is likely to appeal the verdict.