Retired Bosnia and Herzegovina Army general Sakib Mahmuljin was arrested in Sarajevo on Tuesday on the suspicion of being responsible for war crimes committed in central Bosnia, the country's prosecutorial authorities have confirmed.
During the 1990-ies war Mahmuljin commanded the Army's 3rd Corps, which included the "El Mujaheed" unit, consisting mostly of volunteers from Islamic countries.
Members of these troops committed a series of war crimes including ritual executions of prisoners which often involved decapitation. The investigation into these crimes was launched by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and later passed on to the Bosnian judiciary.
Mahmuljin is suspected under command responsibility of acting contrary to provisions of international humanitarian law and the Geneva Conventions.
He is charged with crimes committed between July and October 1995 during offensive combat activities by the Bosnia and Herzegovina Army 3rd Corps around central Bosnia. The prosecution claims that members of the El Mujaheed unit killed around fifty ethnic Serb prisoners of war after kidnapping them from another unit that had captured them.
The investigation also refers to the inhumane treatment of twenty POWs and civilians whom the El Mujaheed troops refused to hand over to military police at the time.
The charges note that as the commander of the corps, Mahmuljin failed to prevent the crimes committed and later failed to punish their perpetrators.
After he is questioned, the prosecution will decide whether it will request that Mahmuljin be detained in custody.