Bosnian Muslim general on trial

Rasim Delic is accused of failing to stop murders, torture and rapes by fighters.

    The El Mujahed unit set up by Delic was notorious
    for criminal behaviour [File: AFP]

    The El Mujahed unit of the Bosnian army, set up by Delic in August 1993, was composed of about 1,700 soldiers including at least 500 fighters from foreign countries. The unit was infamous for criminal behaviour.

    Detention camp

    The charges against Delic are connected to murders, torture and beatings carried out by the El Mujahed in a detention facility for Bosnian Serb soldiers called Kamenica Camp in July and  September 1995.
      
    He is also charged with failing to prevent the rape of three Bosnian Serb women in the same camp.

    "If we are required to start the trial under these conditions, the likely outcome would be acquittal"

    Daryl Mundis, prosecutor

    The indictment against him mentions an incident were a Bosnian Serb soldier was decapitated and other prisoners were forced  to kiss the severed head.

    Delic, one of only a handful of Bosnan Muslims who have been indicted by the UN war crimes tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, has denied all the charges against him.

    The opening of the trial was delayed for two hours because of an argument between the prosecution and the judges.

    They have limited the indictment and ruled that prosecutors could only present 55 witnesses in 170 hours of testimony in order to speed up the trial.

    Last week prosecutors asked for the case to be transferred to a Bosnian court to avoid the measure, but that was refused. Another demand, this time to postpone the opening of the trial was also denied Monday.

    "If we are required to start the trial under these conditions, the likely outcome would be acquittal," Mundis told judges. 

    Sefer Halilovic, the only other senior Bosnian Muslim commander indicted by the tribunal, was acquitted of similar charges in May 2005. 

    SOURCE: Agencies


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