Thursday, March 16, 2006

2 Bosnian Muslims found guilty

The Associated Press


AMSTERDAM Two Bosnian Muslim army commanders were convicted of war crimes on Wednesday for failing to rein in foreign Muslim volunteers who murdered and tortured Bosnian Croats and Serbs in the early 1990s.

A United Nations war crimes tribunal in The Hague sentenced a former Bosnian Army chief of staff, Enver Hadzihasanovic, to five years in prison and gave his deputy Amir Kubura a 2½-year sentence.

It was the first time the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia had dealt with the so-called mujahedeen, or holy warriors, who came mainly from North Africa and the Middle East to fight on the Muslim side in the 1992-95 Bosnian war.

Hadzihasanovic and Kubura were acquitted of the most serious allegations related to the massacre of non-Muslim Bosnians. They also were cleared on most of the other charges related to cruelty meted out toward prisoners and the wanton destruction of villages and churches by the mujahedeen.

But the two officers were convicted in relation to several incidents in which Bosnian soldiers also were involved.

In one incident at the Zenica music school in western Bosnia, where more than 100 civilians were held, prisoners were beaten with wooden shovel handles as they ran a gantlet of soldiers. One man was ordered to beat his mentally handicapped son, then beaten himself when he refused, the judgment said......(continued)


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