Over the past two years State Secretary Klaas Dijkhoff gave 240 failed asylum seekers a residency permit and refugee status in the Netherlands after personally considering their cases, the Telegraaf reports based on figures it obtained.
Last year the Dutch immigration and naturalization service IND performed 170 investigations into asylum seekers suspected of committing war crimes. In 20 cases the investigation led to the refusal of refugee status and a residency permit, according to figures the Ministry of Security and Justice sent to parliament on Thursday, AD reports.
Some cases are currently being investigated by the Public Prosecutor's International Crimes Team. These suspects may end up being prosecuted in the Netherlands.
The asylum procedure in the Netherlands can now take up to 15 months, responsible State Secretary Klaas Dijkhoff of Security and Justice said in a letter to the lower house of Dutch parliament on Wednesday. That is nine months longer than the maximum period of 6 months before an asylum seeker finds out whether he will be given refugee status, which applied up until earlier this week.
The Netherlands' asylum policy is one of the strictest in the European Union. In only five other European countries asylum seekers have less chance of getting refugee status than in the Netherlands, according to a study done by the WODC, Justice Ministry's scientific research and documentation center