Ex-general jailed for war crimes by foreign fighters in Bosnia

As senior commander, the court found that Sakib Mahmuljin, 69, had ‘failed to prevent’ war crimes from being committed.

A retired general of Bosnian Muslim forces in the 1990s war in Bosnia and Herzegovina has been sentenced to eight years in prison for war crimes committed by foreign fighters under his command.

Sakib Mahmuljin, 69, commander of the Third Corps of the Bosnian army, was sentenced on Thursday for his role at the top of the command chain of foreign fighters who executed more than 50 Bosnian Serb prisoners of war in Vozuca and Zavidovici in the northeast of the country.

Mahmuljin was found guilty by a Sarajevo appeals court of “war crimes against wounded and sick people”, and “against prisoners of war”, including “murder” and “inhumane treatment”.

The crimes were carried out by the “El Moudjahid” unit attached to his corps, which was made up of hundreds of mainly foreign fighters from Africa, the Middle East and some Western countries who joined forces with Bosnian Muslims.

As a commander, the court found Mahmuljin had “failed to prevent” the crimes from being committed and “knew or had every reason to know” that members of this unit were preparing to commit crimes, the court said.

The verdict is final and Mahmuljin has no path to further appeal.

This is one of the few convictions of former senior Bosnian military officials for crimes committed by foreign fighters during the Bosnian conflict that killed nearly 100,000 people between 1992 and 1995.

The war crimes in question took place between July and October 1995, in the wake of two Bosnian offensives.

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