Ex-mujahedeen fighter testifies against
Agence France Presse (English) - September 7, 2007 Friday 2:35 PM GMT
SARAJEVO, Sept 7 2007 - A former mujahedeen fighter testified against a former Bosnian general here Friday in the first hearing of the UN war crimes tribunal away from its seat in The Hague, an official said.
Ali Ahmed Ali Hamad faced questioning at Sarajevo's war crimes court in the UN trial against former Bosnian Muslim general Rasim Delic, said Manuela Hodzic, a spokeswoman for the local court.
Delic, former commander of the Muslim-dominated Bosnian army, stands accused of failing to rein in fighters who shot, tortured and beheaded Bosnian Serb and Croat prisoners during the country's 1992-1995 war.
Ali Hamad told Friday's hearing that he had been trained in Afghanistan by Al-Qaeda in 1991-1992, before the terror network instructed him to travel to Bosnia after the outbreak of war.
He said the Bosnian army had knowledge of the activites of the so-called El Mujahed, a war-time army unit notorious for extreme brutality, including decapitations that were recorded on video.
At least 500 of the El Mujahed unit's estimated 1,700 fighters were foreign Islamic volunteers.
Ali Hamad, who is serving a 12-year prison sentence in Bosnia for a 1998 car bomb attack in the southern city of Mostar, agreed to testify in the UN court's case against Delic.
The hearings are to last for up to three days, according to an earlier announcement by the The Hague-based International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY).
The hearing is being conducted entirely under the authority of the ICTY.
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