The surviving relatives of three Muslim men, who were handed over to the Bosnian-Serb army after the fall of the Srebrenica-enclave, are disappointed in the Dutch State because it apparently intends to make an compensation-offer without further consultation. Sources indicate that this will involve a cabinet-decision, and that the offer will be announced next week.
On 6 September 2013, the Supreme Court ruled that the Netherlands is liable for the deaths of Rizo Mustafić, Ibro Nuhanović en Muhamed Nuhanović. The Supreme Court thus upheld the judgment rendered by the Appeals Court of The Hague on 5 July 2011, and ended a protracted legal battle between the surviving relatives and the Dutch State, which has consistently denied its liability. Directly following the verdict on 6 September, Prime Minister Rutte announced that he wanted to round the case off swiftly. In November 2013, a meeting took place between the State Attorney and the attorney of the surviving relatives, Liesbeth Zegveld. Nothing has been heard from the State since then. According to Zegveld therefore, the State's sudden announcement to the press that it plans to make an official offer for compensation is bad form. Yesterday, she told Dutch news station NOS:
I have warned them not to make decisions over the heads of these people. That is what is now likely to happen. This will be a disaster. The surviving relatives want to close this case, but are not given the opportunity to do so.
Formally, the settlement negotiations with the Duth State are still ongoing; that process is geared towards handling the matter carefully, and in close consultation with the parties involved. If the negotiations fail, a follow-up procedure for the determination of damages can be initiated. The victims will then turn to the Dutch courts once again.
Annex (in Dutch)
- De Volkskrant: 'Srebrenica: Regering, fatsoen moet je doen', op-ed (17 April 2014)