Conviction of Sakib Mahmuljin for War Crimes on the basis of Hierarchical Responsibility
Grace ATALUI MOKANGO
International Justice and Human Rights Researcher
Global Human Rights Defence
Sakib Mahmuljin, commander of the Third Corps of the Bosnian Army and retired general of the Bosnian Muslim forces during the War in Bosnia and Herzegovina, was sentenced on 28 April 2022 to 8 years in prison.
The Sarajevo Appeals Court of the State Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina ultimately upheld the conviction of Sakib Mahmuljin for war crimes committed by foreign fighters in Bosnia.
The Court ruled that the retired general had failed to prevent the commission of war crimes despite being a superior commander. Therefore, he was convicted based on hierarchical responsibility, which is a subsidiary responsibility under international criminal law. Al Jazeera reported that 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.
His foreign fighters, the El Moudjahid unit attached to his corps, executed more than 50 Bosnian Serb prisoners of war in Vozuca and Zavidovici in the country's northeast. The crimes took place between July and October 1995, as reported by Al Jazeera.
Source and further reading
Al Jazeera, Ex-general jailed for war crimes by foreign fighters in Bosnia, News, ( 28 April 2022), from: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/4/28/ex-general-jailed-for-war-crimes-by-foreign-fighters-in-bosnia