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Thursday, 9 August, 2001, 15:26 GMT 16:26 UK
Bosnian Muslims deny war crimes
Colonel Amir Kubura facing charges in The Hague
They are the highest-ranking Muslim officers to be tried
Three senior Bosnian Muslim commanders have pleaded not guilty to war crimes charges at the international tribunal in The Hague.

The three - arrested last week by the police in Bosnia-Hercegovina - are accused of murder and other crimes committed against Croats and Serbs during the war in central Bosnia in 1993.

Charges against the three
Murders
Inhumane treatment causing great suffering
Wanton destruction
Illegal detention
The three men are the highest-ranking Muslim officers to face trial at the International War Crimes Tribunal.

They were charged with murder, wanton destruction and inhumane treatment among 19 counts on the indictment.

Bosnian 7th Muslim Brigade on parade in Zenica
Muslim fighters are accused of a range of atrocities

The indictment alleges that General Enver Hadzihasanovic, General Mehmed Alagic and Colonel Amir Kubura were responsible for executions and massacres following attacks on towns and villages.

Their alleged victims were mainly Croat, but also Serb prisoners-of-war and civilians.

The prosecutors claim the worst of these crimes were carried out by foreign Muslim fighters known as mujahideen - or holy warriors - under the command of the three accused.

Witnesses

The men have already appeared before the tribunal as court witnesses in ongoing trials.

Hague Tribunal: Key moments
3 July: Slobodan Milosevic appears on charges of crimes against humanity
5 July: Serb "Adolf" Goran Jelisic acquitted of genocide
26 July: General Rahim Ademi is the first Croatian to appear at the court
2 Aug: General Radislav Krstic receives first ever conviction for genocide
General Hadzihasanovic gave the final testimony in the trial of the Serb General Radislav Krstic, who was convicted last week of genocide at Srebrenica.

These three men are not the first Muslims to go on trial at the tribunal.

Two camp commanders were sentenced three years ago for crimes against Serbs.

But now the military chiefs are being held accountable for atrocities carried out by their subordinates.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Geraldine Coughlan
"Their victims were prisoners of war as well as civilians"
See also:

03 Aug 01 | Europe
War crimes: The ethnic balance
02 Aug 01 | Europe
General guilty of Bosnia genocide
05 Jul 01 | Europe
Q&A: Who's next at The Hague?
03 Jul 01 | Europe
At a glance: Hague tribunal
03 Jul 01 | Europe
What is a war crime?
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