Slain man's family awarded €25k for Dutch failings in Iraq

The European Court ruled yesterday that the Netherlands did not do an independent and proper investigation into the shooting incident in which a Dutch Lieutenant shot and killed the Iraqi Sabah Jaloud.

The lawyers of the victim's father announced the ruling yesterday. The Netherlands has to pay 25 thousand euro in compensation to the father.

The incident occued on December 21st, 2004 at a checkpoint north of the Iraqi town of Ar Rumaythah. During an investigation into another shooting incident earlier that night, a black Mercedes, carrying Jaloud and others, came driving into the checkpoint. Several witnesses stated that the car crashed into two oil barrels at the checkpoint. The soldier in question claims that he thought they were firing weapons. He took cover in the roadside, and when the car had passed, he fired 28 times at the back of the car.

He kept firing until he ran out of bullets. Several witnesses state that his colleagues had ordered him to stop firing.

According to the victim's father and his lawyers Liesbeth Zegveld and Will Eikelenboom, the Public Prosecution withheld 10 statements of involved Iraqi agents. None of them stated that they fired shots. Afterwards it was determined that no shots were fired from the Mercedes. Zegveld therefore questions the Dutch soldier's claim that he fired in self defense.

Zegveld feels that the Public Prosecutor should reconsider prosecuting the lieutenant.