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The Hague, 22 April 2008
Hadžihasanović & Kubura Appeals Only Partially Granted
The Appeals Chamber today upheld in part the Trial Chamber’s findings in the case of Enver Hadžihasanović and Amir Kubura, both former senior officials in the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina (ABiH) convicted as superiors for crimes committed by their subordinates in central Bosnia in 1993.
The Appeals Chamber also granted the two defendants’ appeals in part and reduced their sentences to three years and six months of imprisonment for Hadžihasanović and two years’ imprisonment for Kubura.
Hadžihasanović was Commander of the ABiH 3rd Corps and Kubura Commander of the 3rd Corps 7th Muslim Mountain Brigade. In March 2006, the Trial Chamber convicted Hadžihasanović for having failed to take the necessary and reasonable measures to prevent or punish the murder and cruel treatment of detainees committed by forces under his command in the municipalities of Bugojno and Zenica, as well as in the El Mujahedin camp of Orašac in the Travnik municipality. It found Kubura guilty of having failed to prevent or punish plunder committed by his troops in various locations in the Ovnak area near Zenica and in the Vareš municipality. Hadžihasanović was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment and Kubura to two and a half years’ imprisonment.
In considering Hadžihasanović’s appeal, the Appeals Chamber upheld the Trial Chamber’s finding that he failed to take necessary and reasonable measures to prevent or punish his subordinates for the cruel treatment of detainees at the Zenica Music School from May to September 1993.
The Appeals Chamber however reversed the Trial Chamber’s findings that he failed to take the necessary and reasonable measures to punish those responsible for the murder of Mladen Havranek and the cruel treatment of six prisoners in the Slavonija furniture salon in Bugojno on 5 August 1993. The Appeals Chamber found that those measures he had taken were, in the circumstances of the case, reasonable.
Hadžihasanović was also acquitted of having failed to take the necessary and reasonable measures to prevent or punish the cruel treatment of detainees committed in detention facilities in Bugojno as of 18 August 1993.
Further, the Appeals Chamber reversed the Trial Chamber’s finding that Hadžihasanović failed to prevent the murder of Dragan Popović, as well as the cruel treatment of several other detainees committed in the Orašac camp during October 1993 by the El Mujahedin detachment. The Appeals Chamber found that it was not proven beyond reasonable doubt that Hadžihasanović had effective control over the El Mujahedin detachment. It accordingly found, contrary to what had been pleaded in the Indictment, that he could not be held responsible as a superior for the crimes committed by the members of the El Mujahedin detachment. As part of its reasoning, the Appeals Chamber noted that the relationship between the 3rd Corps 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”.
The Appeals Chamber upheld Kubura’s convictions for having failed to take the necessary and reasonable measures to punish the plunder committed by his subordinates in the villages of Šušanj, Ovnak, Brajkovići and Grahovčići in June 1993 and in Vareš in November 1993. However, the Appeals Chamber found that Kubura took the necessary and reasonable measures to prevent further acts of plunder committed by his subordinates in Vareš in November 1993 and reversed the Trial Chamber’s findings in this respect.
The Prosecution appealed the sentence imposed on Hadžihasanović but not the acquittals. Regarding Kubura, the Prosecution appealed the length of sentence and the acquittal on charges of wanton destruction committed in Vareš. The Appeals Chamber dismissed the Prosecution’s appeal in its entirety.
Credit will be given for the time Hadžihasanović already spent in detention.
International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
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