On 4 August 2010, the first pro forma session was held of a large-scale police and judicial investigation into alleged support by Tamils in the Netherlands for the LTTE (Tamil Tigers). During the pro forma sitting, Victor Koppe, defence counsel for a number of the accused, drew attention to the political character of the decision to place the LTTE on the European sanctions list.
Furthermore, Koppe emphasised the fact that the UN had itself recently withdrawn from Sri Lanka on account of the government’s refusal to cooperate with an investigation into war crimes. It is notable that the Sri Lankan government was present in consultations with Eurojust and Europol on the international approach to the LTTE, despite continuing human rights violations.
In addition to the investigation in the Netherlands, investigations are taking place in England, France, Germany, Australia and Canada, among other countries. Two of the five suspects who are being prosecuted remain in custody. It is possible that the remaining 25 accused will be prosecuted at a later stage.
- Click here for a newspaper article about the large-scale investigation
- Click here for Victor Koppe’s memorandum of oral pleading
- Click here for a briefing paper on Sri Lanka from the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs
- Click here for an article from the Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad about the withdrawal of the UN
- Click here for press releases from Eurojust and Europol
- Click here for an article from The Independent about the number of Tamils killed during the war