Court: No criminal prosecution in Srebrenica massacre

no image
No image availableNL Times

Former Dutchbat commander Thom Karremans and his two adjutants will will not be prosecuted, the court in Arnhem ruled on Wednesday morning. The relatives of three Muslim men that were killed in Srebrenica in 1995 had demanded their prosecution for complicity in war crimes and genocide.

Karremans, his former right hand man Lieutenant Colonel Rob Franken and adjutant Berend Oosterveen led the dutch soldiers during the the fall of the Muslim enclave of Srebrenica in 1995. On July 15th that year two of the victims, an interpreter and an electrician, were put out of the compound by the Dutchbat leadership. This was days after the fall of the Srebrenica enclave, during which thousands of Muslim men were killed by Bosnian Serbs. According to the relatives of the victims, the three Dutchbat leaders knew that these two men would be murdered by Bosnian Serbs.

In 2013 the relatives of the two victims pressed charges against Karremans, Franken and Oosterveen, but the Public Prosecutor decided to waive prosecution stating that the three Dutchbat officers were not accountable for the atrocities in Srebrenica. The relatives did not accept this decision and turned to the court with a so-called Article 12 procedure.

The court examined all the same arguments that were given in the civil case. The court does not question the outcome of the civil case that held the Dutch State liable, but did not find any ground for criminality. According to the court, to determine liability all elements of the case must be taken as a whole. But to determine criminality, each of the suspects' actions and knowledge has to be examined individually.

The court agreed that based on all arguments as a whole, the Dutch State is liable. However, on an individual basis, no one person committed a crime.