Hearing European Court of Human Rights in the case of Jaloud v. the Netherlands
Amsterdam, 21 February 2014 – On 19 February 2014, on behalf of their client Mr. Sabah Jaloud, lawyers Wil Eikelboom and Liesbeth Zegveld argued before the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg (‘ECHR’) that the Dutch State had violated article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights (‘the Convention). Jaloud lost his son, Azhar Sabah Jaloud, who was killed during a shooting incident at a Vehicle Checkpoint in Iraq on 21 April 2004. A Dutch soldier (lieutenant A.) was involved in the fatal shooting.
The case before the ECHR turns first to the question of whether the Netherlands had jurisdiction seeing as how the incident took place in Iraq; if jurisdiction is accepted, it means that the Convention is applicable in this case. The ECHR can then assess whether or not the Netherlands fulfilled its obligation, under article 2, to conduct a thorough investigation into the death of Azhar Sabah; the lawyers argue that this did not happen.
The ECHR is expected to render its decision in 6-9 months.
The background report by the Dutch television program Nieuwsuur (‘Advocaat Zegveld: OM pleegt meineed’, broadcasted on 12 February 2014). The television report concerns the fact that the lawyers recently gained access to a number of witness statements by Iraqi soldiers that reveal that it is very likely that only lieutenant A. fired at Azhar Sabah’s vehicle that night.