Jezik / Language:
1 July 2014

No Command Responsibility

Dzana Brkanic BIRN BiH Sarajevo

Ramiz Avdovic was not appointed to a function that included any command responsibilities, says a military expert at the trial for crimes committed in Sarajevo.

Nehru Ganic, who was invited to testify by the Defence of indictee Ramiz Avdovic, said that the right to commandership was an exclusive right of commanders, adding that the most senior commander in one zone, which was covered by multiple military units, was in charge of that zone of responsibility.

“Besim Muderizovic’s unit was tasked with escorting and taking care of the safety of captured members of aggressor’s and terrorist units in ‘Viktor Bubanj’,” said Ganic, adding that Besim Muderizovic had the command responsibility.

Ganic explained that Muderizovic could have transferred his authority to another person, but he could not transfer his responsibility. Also, he said that Muderizovic could have impeached any member of his unit due to eventual irregularities, adding that no official notes about such actions existed.

“Muderizovic was at the bottom of the command chain. The Headquarters of the Territorial Defence of BiH, Ministry of Defence, Commander of military police, as well as various state commissions were above him,” Ganic said, adding that all subordinates were obliged to carry out orders issued by their superiors.  

The Prosecution charges Avdovic and Iulian-Nicolae Vintila with having participated in the establishment and maintenance of a system for abuse of detained Serb civilians in the second half of 1992.

Avdovic was allegedly commander of guards on the fifth floor of the Central Prison and military prison in the former “Viktor Bubanj” military barracks, while Vintila was a cook and guard in “Viktor Bubanj”.

Avdovic and Vintila were originally charged under the same indictment as Besim Muderizovic, former Deputy Manager on the fifth floor of the District Prison and Commander of the military prison in “Viktor Bubanj”. Muderizovic died eight months after the beginning of the trial.  

Court expert Ganic said that, in the summer of 1992 the District Court Martial was given jurisdiction over the prison, which was turned into a military detention unit. He said that this meant that Muderizovic did not make decisions related to the prison on his own, but he had to follow orders.

“On the basis of official documents, one can see that all personnel was subordinated to Muderizovic, who could propose them for individual functions, but he could not appoint them, because he did not have the authority to do it,” Ganic said, adding that, therefore Avdovic’s function was “temporary” as well.

The cross-examination of the court expert is due to continue on July 8.
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