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Bringing justice to victims of international crimes

Amir Kubura

Sentenced on 15 March 2006 to 2 ˝ years imprisonment ; granted early release on 11 April 2006; sentence reduced by the Appeals chamber on 22 April 2008
Commander of the ABiH 3rd Corps 7th Muslim Mountain Brigade

Amir Kubura was born on 4 March 1964 in Kakanj, in the Kakanj municipality of Bosnia-Herzegovina. As a former professional military officer in the Yugoslav People’s Army (JNA), he served for five years as an active military officer of the JNA in Djakovica. In 1992, Amir Kubura left the JNA with the rank of Captain. He then joined the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina (ABiH) whilst it was being formed and rose rapidly through the ranks. At the time of the alleged facts, he was in command of all of the units of the ABiH 3rd Corps 7th Muslim Mountain Brigade.

Between January 1993 and January 1994 the ABiH was engaged in various combat activities with the Croatian Defence Council (HVO) in central Bosnia. In particular, in April 1993 and in early summer 1993, ABiH 3rd Corps units launched a series of heavy attacks against the HVO including, but not limited to, the areas of the municipalities of Bugojno, Busovaca, Kakanj, Maglaj, Novi Travnik, Travnik, Vares, Vitez, Zavidovici, Zenica and Zepce.

The ABiH operations culminated in a massive attack between 7 and 13 June 1993 against the territories within the municipalities of Kakanj, Travnik and Zenica and others. In the course of these combat activities, the units under the command of Amir Kubura, played an important role. These units, notably, were made up of foreign Muslim fighters. These foreign fighters referred to themselves as "Mujahedin" or "Holy Warriors". These same "Mujahedin", who came mainly from Islamic countries, began to arrive in Bosnia and Herzegovina in mid 1992 and came prepared to conduct a "Jihad" or "Holy War" against the enemies of the Bosnian Muslims.

Within the municipalities mentioned above, according to the indictment, ABiH 3rd Corps units attacked towns and villages mainly inhabited by Bosnian Croats, but also by Bosnian Serb civilians. The Bosnian Croat civilians principally, but also Bosnian Serb civilians-including women, the elderly and the infirm-, were subjected to wilful murder and serious injury. In the course of, or after the attacks, at least 200 Bosnian Croat and Bosnian Serb civilians were killed and many more were wounded or harmed whilst attempting to hide or escape. In several instances, ABiH forces killed HVO troops after they had surrendered.

According to the indictment, the Bosnian Croats principally, but also some Bosnian Serbs, were illegally imprisoned or detained in some other fashion at locations under the control of the ABiH. The Bosnian Croats and Bosnian Serbs who were imprisoned or otherwise detained, were murdered, severely beaten or were subjected to physical and or psychological abuse, intimidation or inhuman treatment; including being confined in overcrowded or unsanitary conditions and suffered inhumane deprivations of basic necessities such as adequate food, water and clothing. The prisoners received very little or no medical care whatsoever.

The ABiH forces plundered or destroyed the property of the Bosnian Croats and Bosnian Serbs without any military justification for doing so. Houses and buildings, as well as personal belongings and livestock, belonging for the most part to the Bosnian Croats, but also to the Bosnian Serbs, were destroyed or badly damaged. Furthermore, Bosnian Croat buildings and religious sites and institutions were destroyed or desecrated in some way or another.

According to the same indictment, Amir Kubura knew or had reasons to know that the ABiH forces under his command and effective control, were planning, preparing and implementing detention, illegal imprisonment, killings and cruel and inhumane treatment of the Bosnian Croats and Bosnian Serbs, or that they had already carried out these acts and that he had not taken the necessary and reasonable measures to prevent these acts from being committed or to punish their perpetrators.

Amir Kubura gave himself up voluntarily on 2 August 2001 and was transferred on 4 August 2001 to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY).

Trial Watch would like to remind its users that any person charged by national or international authorities is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Fact sheet

Bosnia and Herzegovina 04.03.1964 The Hague (Netherlands) 01.1993  - 11.1993 02.12.2003  - 15.03.2006
War crimes

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