News 05 Nov 12

Expert Witness Speaks About Trusina Responsibility

An expert witness testified that the defendant, Zulfikar Alispago, must have been aware of activities by his subordinates in the village of Trusina on April 16, 1993.

Justice Report
BIRN
Sarajevo

Nehru Ganic, an expert witness for military issues, said that, after having reviewed documents, he determined that Alispago was not present in Trusina on April 16, 1993, but he must have collected data and informed his superiors accordingly.

“A commander can transfer his rights to another person, but he cannot transfer his responsibility. He was obliged to gather data and inform his superiors,” the expert witness said.

Alispago is charged, in his capacity as the commander of “Zulfikar” Squad, with having failed to “undertake the necessary and reasonable measures to punish crime perpetrators”.

According to the charges, Nihad Bojadzic, the former deputy commander of the squad, ordered his subordinates to attack the village of Trusina, telling them that there must be no survivors in the village. He allegedly commanded the military operation from a nearby hill.

Analyzing the documents, Ganic was not able to conclulde who ordered members of the “Zulfikar” Squad to go to Trusina, but he determined that they were “the protagonists of activities”.

Eighteen civilians and four members of the Croatian Defence Council, HVO were killed during the attack on the village. Alispago and Bojadzic are on trial, along with Mensur Memic, Dzevad Salcin and Nedzad Hodzic, former members of “Zulfikar” Squad, and Senad Hakalovic, a former soldier with “Neretvica” Brigade.

The expert witness determined that, although Alispago was “authorized” to act as the Deputy Commander of “Igman” Operational Group of the Bosnian army on April 18, 1993, his principal function was to act as the Commander of the Zulfikar Squad.

Ganic said that he “had not found any documents” suggesting that the members of the “Zulfikar” squad were subordinated to the “Neretvica” Brigade Command during the attack on Trusina.

He mentioned that the squad was subordinated to the 1st Corps of the Bosnian Army, adding that, prior to the mentioned date it had been part of the Main Command Headquarters.

The indictment alleges that the “Zulfikar” squad was part of the Main Command Headquarters of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina.  

The examination of the expert witness is due to continue on Monday, November 12. 

 

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Background

Timeline – Cuska Case

Timeline of events in the case against 13 former Serb fighters charged with committing war crimes in the villages of Cuska, Zahac, Ljubenic and Pavlac in Kosovo in 1999.

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