Suriname civil war murder suspect arrested in Amsterdam
The police arrested a 55-year-old man in Amsterdam on Tuesday on suspicion of committing murders during the Interior War in Suriname, a civil war between 1986-1992. The Public Prosecution Service accuses the man - a Dutchman born in Suriname - of war crimes. He is suspected of murdering several civilians in 1987. The man appeared before the examining magistrate on Friday, who extended his pre-trial custody by 14 days.
During the Interior War, the Surinamese National Army led by Desi Bouterse fought against the Jungle Commando of Ronnie Brunswijk. Hundreds of civilians were killed, and tens of thousands were displaced.
According to the Public Prosecution Service, the arrested man "indicated in various ways" that he was a member of the Infantry of the National Army of Suriname at the time and that he belonged to the commandos. He told people that he killed several people in June 1987. Following a report of this, the International Crimes Team of the police and Public Prosecution Service started an investigation.
The police and the judiciary are continuing the investigation. They are mainly looking for explanations about cleansing actions by the Surinamese National Army in the Brokopondo area in June 1987, in the vicinity of Brownsweg. Civilians were killed in those actions, according to the Public Prosecution Service.
The Public Prosecution Service is investigating the case as a war crime because killing people who do not (any longer) participate in the fighting is against the humanitarian law of war. Suspects who have Dutch nationality or who are in the Netherlands can be prosecuted here.