Prosecution of Riwal for involvement in construction of Israeli Wall and settlements discontinued
Amsterdam, 17 May 2013 – On 14 May 2013, the National Office of the Public Prosecutions Department announced that it will discontinue the prosecution of the company Lima Holding B.V., part of the Dutch Riwal-group.
On 15 March 2010, lawyer Liesbeth Zegveld, filed a criminal complaint against the company on behalf of the non-governmental organization Al-Haq, with its registered offices in Ramallah (Occupied Palestinian Territories), for war crimes and crimes against humanity perpetrated in the period 2004 until then in the Netherlands and/or the Occupied Palestinian Territories. In particular, the criminal complaint concerned the contributions made by Riwal-companies to the construction of the Wall (near Al-Khader and Hizma) and an Israeli settlement on the West Bank (Bruqin). In 2004, the International Court of Justice found that the construction of the Wall constituted a violation of international humanitarian law. In response to the criminal complaint, the Dutch justice department initiated criminal investigations into Riwal, and searched its offices in multiple locations.
In a reaction to the decision by the Public Prosecutions Department, Liesbeth Zegveld has stated that it is a shame that prosecution will not be continued. On the other hand, the Public Prosecutions Department has made a major effort with regard to the criminal investigations.
Zegveld: "Riwal has taken far-reaching steps so as to permanently terminate its activities in Israel and/or the occupied territories pursuant to the criminal investigation. I think this case is a warning to companies not to get involved in these dirty businesses."
Read the press release by the Public Prosecution Service here.